: Women's Basketball vs. George Washington
: EagleBank Arena, Fairfax, Va.
: George Washington 79, Mason 71 (OT)
: Kara Wright – 23 points, nine rebounds; Sylvia Maxwell – 16 points, seven rebounds; Alexsis Grate – 11 points; Jacy Bolton – 11 points, six rebounds
FAIRFAX, Va. – A last-second shot capped off a furious fourth-quarter rally and granted the George Mason women's basketball team five more minutes.
The Patriots, however, couldn't keep pace with Revolutionary Rival George Washington in overtime, falling 79-71 on Wednesday at EagleBank Arena. Mason (9-9, 2-3 Atlantic 10) allowed 19 points in the extra period as it suffered its third straight loss.
Senior Kara Wright
scored a game-high 23 points and drained a game-tying 3-pointer with one second left in regulation. Wright's contested shot at the top of the key erased a nine-point George Washington lead with 2:40 to go.
In overtime, the game stayed close early. Less than a minute in, off a Colonials' turnover, the Patriots had a chance to take their first lead since the third quarter but missed a layup. GW responded with a jumper and Wright answered with a layup to tie the game for the eighth time, 64-64 with 3:29 remaining.
The Colonials (11-6, 4-1), who won the A-10 regular-season and tournament titles last year, pulled away from there, rattling off 11 straight points, including nine from Hannah Schaible. A pair of free throws with 57 seconds left boosted GW's lead to 75-64. A layup by Tiffany Padgett
and 3-pointer from Jacy Bolton
pulled the Patriots within six with 34 seconds left. But the Colonials grabbed a key offensive rebound and made four free throws in the final 21 seconds to secure their ninth straight victory over Mason.
Redshirt senior Sylvia Maxwell
tied a career high with 16 points, which is her most since transferring to Mason, before fouling out 10 seconds into overtime. Freshman Alexsis Grate
tied her career high of 11 points for the third time in four games. Freshman Jacy Bolton
also added 11 points. Wright scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and was just one rebound shy of her fifth career double-double with nine rebounds.
The Colonials had five players score in double figures, led by Schaibel, who scored 13 of her 20 points in overtime. Lexi Martin had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Caira Washington added 16 points and nine rebounds.
The Patriots shot 54.2 percent in the first half and led by 13 in the second quarter. But George Washington rallied back with a 21-6 run that spanned nearly 12 minutes, starting at the end of the second quarter and running up until the start of the fourth period. Mason made just two field goals during that spurt and scored only four points in the third quarter.
The Colonials looked to be in control, building their lead to 56-47 with 2:40 left in regulation. But the Patriots didn't quit as they ended the fourth quarter on a 13-4 run. Grate sparked the spurt with a layup, then Wright and Maxwell combined for free throws. Maxwell made back-to-back baskets to pull within two, 59-57, with 12 seconds to go. Schaible made just one of two free throws with 7.9 seconds left. That allowed Mason to call a timeout, advance the ball past halfcourt and set up the game-tying shot. Grate passed the ball to Wright, who dribbled to her left, stopped and sunk a 3-pointer over 6-foot-2 Caira Washington.
"We played an incredible game," Mason head coach Nyla Milleson
said. "Maybe our best overall effort, battling, sticking to the game plan, that we've maybe played all year. We certainly maybe played the best team we've played all year. They are a veteran ball team. Nine of their 13 players are upperclassmen. (Caira) Washington is one of the best post players in our conference. We battled and did everything we could to win this game. We just had one bad quarter. We have one bad quarter every game it seems like. The last few games it has been the third. We went 1-for-13 and let them back in. We just have to find that way to sustain for 40 minutes.
"But I tell you I'm just very, very proud of our basketball team today. We're going to win some ball games down the stretch if we play as hard and together as we did today."
Mason closes out a three-game homestand against VCU at noon on Sunday at EagleBank Arena.