Patriots Advance to Round Two

March 9, 2012   ·   3 Comments

by Tyler Mauro

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — It only took six years.

After getting bounced from the CAA tournament in the first round the last 5 years, Mason was out to change their fortunes.

Riding a late rally in the second half Mason pulled away from Northeastern for their first win in the CAA Women’s Basketball Championships since 2006 by a final score of 70-60.  The win helps prove that this program is on the upswing, led by coach Jeri Porter and her recruiting class anchored by junior Amber Easter.

“It feels good to get a win.  But we know, we have to get right back at it tomorrow.  There is no sitting around,” said assistant coach Greg Pulliam.

In a game that featured 15 lead changes, Mason saved their best for last.

With the score tied at 57 and fewer than seven minutes to play, the Patriots went on a 13-3 run sparked by a Janaa Pickard jumper.  Pickard, who failed to score in the first half, scored all ten of her points in the final frame.

When asked about the run over the last few minutes of the contest, Amber Easter responded “We came together and said we need to play basketball.  We wanted to see tomorrow.”

Easter would lead all Patriot scorers finishing the game with her 4th double-double in her last seven games.  She had 22 points to go along with 13 rebounds, as her hustle late in the second half proved vital to the victory.

The first half was a seesaw, neither team could apply enough pressure to get an edge. After trailing by seven to start the first half coach Porter went to her bench for some support.  A Taleia Moton 3-pointer would give the Patriots their first lead of the game. Each team would trade blows, until a Christine Huber layup put the Huskies back in front by five.

“I’m not sure why Christine Huber didn’t win any (CAA awards), she is amazing,” said a smiling Porter.

Huber was the best player in uniform for the Huskies as she provided an offensive spark with a game high 25 points. She had variety hitting shots from the arc as well as posting up for layups on the inside.

While the Huskies tried to ride Huber, Mason would turn to Moton to get them back in the game. A driving layup to the cup and a 10 foot jumper gave Mason all they needed to secure at one point lead at the half, 32-31.

The second half was a George Mason free throw clinic as the Patirots fought off Northeastern swats to put themselves at the line. Back to back free throws by Evelyn Lewis gave the Mason a four point lead with just under four minutes to play.  The Patriots set a new tournament record going 18 for 18 from the stripe in the game.

“Free throws are important and playing in a game sometimes it comes down to one or two free throws,” said Moton who was 2 for 2 in the game.

Mason moves on in the tournament taking on CAA rival James Madison in a battle of the 7th and 3rd seeds.  The Patriots are 3-6 all time against the Dukes in the CAA tournament. Tipoff is slated for 5pm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. Daphne Grabowski

    Glad to see Mason in second round!!!
    Go Mason!!!!

    Reply »
  2. Daphne Grabowski

    Glad to see Mason to make it to round 2!!
    Go Patriots!!!

    Reply »
    • 13U Smith Sox Baseball Academy takes 2nd place today in Plano at the Break Out The Bats tournament. Congratulations to the Desperadoes and Coach Harper for winnnig first place.

      Reply »

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