GW Women's Hoops Concludes Homestand on Saturday Against George Mason
Dec. 20, 2012
WHO: GW Women's Basketball (5-5)
WASHINGTON - The George Washington women's basketball team plays its final home game of 2012 when it welcomes local rival George Mason to the Charles E. Smith Center for a 12 p.m. tipoff on Saturday. The game is the first of an afternoon doubleheader at the Smith Center as GW men's basketball will host VMI at 3 p.m., and tickets for either event are good for both games.
GW (5-5) will look to build off the momentum from last Saturday's thrilling 61-60 come-from-behind victory over crosstown rival Howard. With the Colonials trailing 60-57 with six seconds left, graduate student Tara Booker sank a three-pointer from the wing to tie the game and was fouled, then sank the game-winning free throw. She finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, scoring nine points during GW's 19-5 game-ending run to erase a 13-point deficit with 5:26 remaining.
Booker became the 27th member of GW's 1,000-point club with 4:18 to go against the Lady Bison. Needing 11 points to reach the milestone entering the game, she finished with 18 and now has 1,007 career points. Booker is just the 10th Colonials' player ever with 1,000 points and 600 rebounds in her career, as her 655 rebounds rank 12th all-time.
Booker paces the Colonials with 10.5 points per game, and she is followed closely by senior Megan Nipe at 10.4 ppg. Graduate student Sara Mostafa is the team's top rebounder with 6.3 boards per contest. Senior Danni Jackson and sophomore Chakecia Miller combine to average 8.8 assists and 5.6 steals per game, and both rank among league leaders in each category.
Jackson recorded 11 assists against Howard, the most by a Colonials' player since Kimberly Beck also had 11 against Charlotte on Jan. 26, 2008.
George Mason (4-4) has not played since a 90-40 loss at No. 9 Maryland on Dec. 8. Rahneeka Saunders scored a team-high 13 points to lead the Patriots, who shot just 26.8 percent from the floor and were outrebounded, 50-24.
Saunders leads Mason with 14.4 points per game, while Amber Easter is the team's top rebounder with 7.4 rpg.
The Patriots were picked to finish seventh out of 11 teams in the Colonial Athletic Association preseason poll after posting a 15-16 overall record in 2011-12. Easter, Mason's top returning scorer and rebounder from last season, was named to the CAA Preseason All-Conference Second Team.
Saturday's game marks the 20th all-time meeting between local rivals GW and George Mason in a series that dates to 1976. The Colonials hold an 11-8 advantage, but the Patriots have won four of the last five meetings. Jackson has averaged 13.0 ppg and 4.0 apg in two career games against Mason, while Nipe has scored 11 points both times out against the Patriots.
Last season, George Mason defeated GW, 58-55, at the Patriot Center. The Colonials rallied from a 16-point deficit midway through the second half, but were unable to complete the comeback. Miller posted her first career double-double with career highs of 20 points and 10 steals to pace GW. Taleia Moton led four Patriots in double figures with 20 points, while Janaa Pickard (11p/11r) and Easter (11p/10r) each recorded double-doubles.
GW will close out the 2012 portion of its schedule on the road at nationally ranked California (Dec. 28) and Saint Mary's (Dec. 30). The Colonials do not return to the Smith Center until Jan. 17 against Atlantic 10 rival Saint Joseph's, as they will also visit North Carolina A&T (Jan. 6) and A-10 foe Massachusetts (Jan. 12) before returning home.