FAIRFAX-- George Mason (5-2) trailed for much of the night, but took the lead when it mattered most and defeated Longwood (3-2) 66-65 at the Patriot Center Tuesday night thanks to a jumper from junior Sandra Ngoie with two seconds remaining.
“I'm really proud of this basketball team,” head coach Nyla Milleson said. “We did some good things, particularly coming down the stretch.”
“It's always fun to win the tight games, my heart is still beating really fast” Ngoie said.
Ngoie led all scorers with a career-high 22 points and added eight rebounds helping the Patriots to outrebound the Lancers 42-38.
“I'm hoping we really have found the Sandra that I've been waiting on,” Milleson said. “I think from a maturity standpoint, from understanding what we want, it was a big breakthrough game for her.”
Mason trailed by as much as 16 points in the first half but the Patriots fought their way to a four-point deficit, down just 32-28 headed into the break. The second half would be just as hard-fought with the Lancers taking several double-digit leads including an 11-point advantage with just over eight minutes remaining. However, the Patriots didn't back down using a 22-10 run in the final seven minutes of play to secure the victory.
“I just think right now, we're so resilient,” Milleson said. “Obviously we don't want to make a habit of it, but this team is just believing.”
Sophomore Taylor Brown registered 14 points and five assists in just 26 minutes while fifth-year senior Janaa Pickard continued her stellar campaign registering her fourth double-double of the season, putting up 15 points and 11 rebounds.
After four games over seven days, the Patriots get a break over the Thanksgiving weekend.
“We get a couple days off to spend with our families and come back for a long December road stretch,” Milleson said.
Mason is on the road for the entire month of December starting with the College of Charleston Monday December 2, at 7:00 P.M.