George Mason Women's Basketball at Saint Louis
Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, Mo.
: Mason (9-6, 2-0 Atlantic 10), Saint Louis (11-3, 1-0 Atlantic 10)
Saint Louis leads 3-2
: Saint Louis defeated Mason 61-50 on Jan. 28, 2016 in Fairfax, Va.
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FAIRFAX, Va. – Off to its best start in Atlantic 10 Conference play, the George Mason women's basketball team begins the new year on the road against the preseason conference favorite.
The Patriots play at Saint Louis at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Mo. Mason is off to a 2-0 start in A-10 play for the first time since joining the league in 2013-14. The Patriots last won their first two conference games in 2003-04 when they were still members of the Colonial Athletic Association.
Mason (9-6, 2-0 A-10) currently sits tied atop the A-10 standings with Fordham and George Washington in the young conference season. The Patriots have won six of eight and are coming off a 52-49 victory over St. Bonaventure on New Year's Eve Saturday at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Va.
Senior Kara Wright
scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds while freshman Alexsis Grate
scored a career-high 11 points. In the win, Wright, a fifth-year senior guard/forward, eclipsed 1,000 points for her career. The Louisville, Ky., native currently has 1,012 points – 555 points in less than two seasons at Mason and 437 in two years at Southeast Missouri State. She leads the Patriots this year with 14.8 points a game and three 20-plus point games.
Saint Louis (11-3, 1-0) rides a four-game winning streak into its A-10 home opener. The Billikens were picked to win the conference in the preseason coaches poll after they shared the regular-season title with Duquesne and George Washington last year.
SLU opened conference play on Saturday with a 106-69 rout of Davidson on the road. The Billikens set several school records in the win, including most points (106) and assists (33) in a game. Senior Sadie Stipanovich scored 33 points on a career-high 14 made field goals (out of 22 attempts). Junior Jackie Kemph scored 20 points and dished out 10 assists to become the school's all-time assists leader with 521 for her career.
Kemph leads the team with 15.1 points a game and ranks first in the Atlantic 10 with 7.7 assists a game. Stipanovich averages 14.8 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds.
The game will feature two of the better rebounding teams in the conference. Mason ranks second in the A-10 with 41.5 boards a game while SLU is just behind with 41.4. On the flip side, Saint Louis holds teams to a conference-low 33.6 rebounds a game. The Patriots allow the third-fewest rebounds (34.8) among league teams.
Mason trails the all-time series against the Billikens 3-2. The teams split a pair of games last year, with both teams winning on the road. On Jan. 2, 2016, the Patriots rallied from seven points down in the fourth quarter and tied the game on a Tayler Dodson
free throw with 13 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. In the extra period, Mason outscored SLU 14-4 to pull away for a 73-63 win. Later in the month on Jan. 28, 2016, the Billikens picked up a 61-50 victory over the Patriots in Fairfax.