George Mason women's basketball at Illinois State
Sunday, 2 p.m.
Redbird Arena, Normal, Ill.
: Mason (5-5, 1-0 Atlantic 10), Illinois State (3-5, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
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FAIRFAX, Va. – A busy five-game road trip comes to an end for the George Mason women's basketball team.
The Patriots play Illinois State at 2 p.m. on Sunday in Redbird Arena in Normal, Ill. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.com. The Sunday matinee will cap off five straight road games over a span of 15 days for Mason (5-5), which has never played Illinois State.
Mason has gone 2-2 so far on the road trip, picking up wins against Detroit Mercy and Massachusetts in the Atlantic 10 opener. Their two losses have come against Towson and Georgetown, the latter a 69-56 setback on Thursday night.
Senior Kara Wright
scored 16 points and senior Tiffany Padgett
and freshman Sarah Kaminski
each added 14 points against the Hoyas. But Georgetown (7-2) knocked down 11 3-pointers and scored 20 second-chance points. Mason trailed by as many as 19 in the fourth quarter before pulling within eight. The Patriots only scored four points over the last 4:31 as Georgetown won its sixth straight.
Illinois State (3-5) has lost two straight and four of five. The Redbirds, who will host their fourth straight home game, are coming off a 68-60 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday. Seniors Taylor Stewart (12.5 ppg, 2.5 apg) and Brechelle Beachum (10.9 ppg) and junior Hannah Green (10.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg) lead the way.
ISU returns just five letterwinners from last year's team that went 8-22 and finished 6-12 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Barb Smith, who was previously an associate head coach at Atlantic 10 foe Saint Louis, is in her fourth year as head coach at Illinois State.
Mason is 1-1 all-time against teams currently in the Missouri Valley. The Patriots defeated Drake on Nov. 24, 2012 on a neutral court and lost to Wichita State on the road on Nov. 20, 2010. George Mason head coach Nyla Milleson
is no stranger to Illinois State. She spent six years in the Missouri Valley as the head coach at Missouri State from 2007-13 and faced the Redbirds 12 times.