: Women's Basketball at Illinois State
: Redbird Arena, Fairfax, Va.
: Mason 72, Illinois State 46
: Kara Wright
– 11 points, 10 rebounds, five assists; Jewel Triggs
11 points; Tayler Dodson
- 10 points, five assists
NORMAL, Ill. – With final exams looming, the George Mason women's basketball team passed its last test of a five-game road trip.
The Patriots cruised to a 72-46 victory over Illinois State on Sunday at Redbird Arena for their most lopsided road win in 20 years. Eleven players scored as Mason (6-5) has won three of its last four. Senior Kara Wright
posted her third career double-double – and second in the last three games – with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds in addition to five assists and three steals.
Sophomore Jewel Triggs
came off the bench to score a career-high tying 11 points, junior Tayler Dodson
tied a season-best with 10 points along with five assists and three steals and senior Bridget O'Donnell
had a career-high four blocked shots.
The 26-point victory was Mason's widest margin of victory in a road game since defeating Maryland Eastern Shore 79-50 on Dec. 14, 1996.
"This team is really growing and maturing," head coach Nyla Milleson
said. "It has been a long, five-game road stretch but I like the togetherness of our team. We're really sharing the basketball well and we've got pretty good balance. Kara Wright
has led us a majority of the time but we also had a number of other people in double figures and we bring pretty good scorers off the bench. Good job of execution today."
After a slow start, Mason finished off the first quarter on a 15-5 run to take a seven-point lead into the second period and never looked back in its first meeting against the Redbirds (3-6). The Patriots led Illinois State 40-21 at halftime.
The Patriots were sound on both ends of the floor, holding Illinois State to just 25.8 percent shooting while committing a season-low 10 turnovers. Mason also tied a season high with 17 assists on 27 made field goals. Seven made 3-pointers (from six players) are tied for the second-most this season. Mason also got 34 points from its bench, paced by Trigg's 11 points - her previous season high was five.
, she is coming off double-knee surgery from the spring, so we're just trying to get her worked back in - I thought she played really, really well today," Milleson said. "When you are on a five-game road swing like we have been, you have to rely on your Kara Wright
's to continue to be good and Tiffany Padgett
's and those players that to continue to lead you. But you also have to look for others to come in and I thought they did a really, really good job."
The Patriots have now won four road games this year for their most road victories in one season since 2011-12. George Mason also tallied its third non-conference victory on the road this season for its most in one year since the 2006-07 campaign. The three non-conference wins have come against LIU Brooklyn, Detroit Mercy and Illinois State. Not since the 1996-97 campaign have the Patriots won three non-conference road games in the same season against teams outside of Virginia and Washington D.C.
With final exams this week, Mason now take its longest break of the season. The Patriots won't play again until Dec. 20 when they host Navy at the Recreation Athletic Complex (RAC) for a 7 p.m. tip-off. It will be Mason's only game over the next two weeks before they close out the non-conference portion of the schedule on Dec. 27-28 at the FIU Holiday Invitational against Drexel and FIU in Miami.