Late Rally Falls Short; Women's Hoops Falls at George Mason, 58-55
Dec. 22, 2011
FAIRFAX, Va. - The George Washington women's basketball team erased a 16-point second-half deficit but was unable to complete the comeback, falling to local rival George Mason, 58-55, on Thursday afternoon at Patriot Center.
GW (5-6) was led by freshman Chakecia Miller who posted the first double-double of her career with season-highs in both points (20) and steals (10). Joining Miller with double figures were juniors Megan Nipe (11 points, four rebounds) and Danni Jackson (10 points, four rebounds, four steals).
The Colonials shot just 24 percent (7-of-29) from the floor in the first half and endured a period of more than nine minutes without a field goal before closing on a 6-0 run to trail by 10 points, 31-21, at halftime.
George Mason (7-3) extended its lead to 16 points with 11:43 left in the game, but GW later answered keyed by a three-pointer from the right wing by Nipe and a 9-1 spurt to pull within single digits, trailing by six, 48-42, with just over eight minutes remaining in regulation.
Over the next four minutes, the Colonials used a second scoring spurt, this time a 9-4 advantage, to make the score 52-51 on a three-pointer from redshirt junior Brooke Wilson with 4:57 left. In total, the Colonials outscored the Patriots 18-5 over six minutes to slash into what was once a 16-point deficit.
After a pair of free throws put Mason up by three, a slicing layup by Jackson pulled the Colonials back within one with 1:53 remaining. It was as close as the Colonials would come to taking the lead as Mason's leading scorer, Taleia Morton, iced the game with a free throw with nine seconds remaining.
Morton finished with 20 points on 5-of-15 shooting with seven rebounds and four steals. Three other Patriots finished in double-figures with Rahneeka Saunders posting 10 points and Amber Easter and Janna Pickard netting 12 points apiece.
The Colonials had a chance to tie the game on the last possession but Jackson could not convert a three-point attempt as time expired.
Miller was brilliant for the Colonials, netting her 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. She also totaled three assists and two rebounds in addition to her 10 steals. It was the first time a GW player swiped 10 or more steals since Laurie Cann had 12 in a 69-61 victory over Towson in Feb. 1978.
The Colonials shot a season-low 28 percent (18-of-64) from the field and were outrebounded, 58-41, but still held advantages in points in the paint (22-20), points off turnovers (16-10), fast-break points (16-3) and bench points (11-2).
George Washington returns to action with a visit to William & Mary on Dec. 28. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Kaplan Arena.