First-Half Scoring Drought Dooms Patriots in Loss to Richmond
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First-Half Scoring Drought Dooms Patriots in Loss to Richmond

WHO: Women's Basketball vs. Richmond
WHERE: EagleBank Arena – Fairfax, Va.
FINAL SCORE: Richmond 57, Mason 50
RECORDS: Mason (11-16, 6-8 A-10); Richmond (12-15, 5-9 A-10)
KEY PLAYERSKristi Mokube 17 points, 9 rebounds; Taylor Brown 14 points

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

TOTAL

Richmond (12-15, 5-9 A-10)

14

13

16

14

57

George Mason (11-16, 6-8 A-10)

15

5

17

13

50


BOX SCORE (HTML)

FAIRFAX, Va. – A long offensive lull turned a lead into a massive deficit – one the George Mason women's basketball team couldn't recover from.

The Patriots went scoreless for more than 10 minutes midway through Saturday's game against Richmond. The hole was too big for Mason to climb out of in a 57-50 loss to the Spiders at EagleBank Arena.

The lengthy scoring drought and 29 points and seven 3-pointers from Richmond's Janelle Hubbard plagued the Patriots (11-16, 6-8 Atlantic 10). Mason pulled within one point twice in the fourth quarter but failed to muster a go-ahead basket and defensive stop when needed.

“We just couldn't get into a flow offensively,” head coach Nyla Milleson said. “We really felt good coming into this game off a road win at Rhode Island. We had a week off (since last playing Rhode Island on Feb. 13), a good week of preparation. We had good rest. We got off to a good start. You know, in this game, especially this time of year, you have to have a short memory because you have to get ready for the next one.”

Trailing by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, the Patriots cut the lead to 43-37 heading into the fourth quarter thanks to six straight points by Taylor Brown. Mason carried the momentum into the final period, ripping off a 7-0 run. Reana Mohamed sparked the spurt by banking in a 3-pointer from the left wing. Kristi Mokube came up with an offensive rebound and putback and Brown turned an errant Richmond pass into a layup to pull within 45-44 with 6:24 remaining.

But the Patriots would not pull in front. Despite a six-minute drought from Richmond (12-15, 5-9), Mason failed to capitalize. The Patriots went more than four minutes without a basket, missing four potential go-ahead shots.

Hubbard's 3-pointer with 2:17 left ended the scoreless streak and gave Richmond a four-point lead. Mason would pull within once more with less than two minutes left but Hubbard again responded with one of her career-high seven 3-pointers. She also hit a game-clinching jumper in the lane and the Spiders made all four free throws in the final 11 seconds to seal the victory.

The uphill climb came about early in the second quarter. Jumping out to a 20-14 lead with 8:08 left in the first half, the Mason offense came unhinged. The Patriots committed seven turnovers and missed their final seven shots, scoring just five points in the second quarter. In the meantime, the Spiders jumped in front, taking a 27-20 lead into halftime thanks to a 13-0 run – with all 13 points courtesy of Hubbard.

She also scored the first basket of the third quarter – a 3-pointer – as Mason continued to struggle offensively. Mokube finally ended the drought with an offensive putback at the 7:21 mark in the third quarter for Mason's first points in more than 10 minutes and first field goal in more than 12 minutes.

Mokube led the charge for the Patriots with 17 points and nine rebounds. Brown finished with 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the free-throw line. Mohamed provided a spark off the bench with eight points.

The Patriots now play VCU at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Richmond, Va., in their final road game of the season. They'll wrap up the regular season next Saturday at home at 2 p.m. against George Washington on Senior Day at EagleBank Arena.  

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