Women's Basketball Overthrows Old Dominion for First Time in School History, 63-57
Feb. 22, 2009
FAIRFAX, Va. - The eight members of the George Mason women's basketball team which took the floor Sunday at Patriot Center accomplished something that no team before it has, as the Patriots took control early and held off Old Dominion, 63-57, in Colonial Athletic Association action. It is the first time in program history that the Patriots topped the Lady Monarchs, ending a 44-game skid dating back to the 1974-75 season.
Mason (4-22, 2-13) dominated the Lady Monarchs off the glass, holding a 47-to-35 rebounding advantage. The Patriots were led by sophomore Brittany Eley, who notched her first career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Brittany Poindexter and senior Brittney Wilkins also contributed double-digit scoring, chipping in 15 and 12, respectively.
Jessica Canady led ODU (14-11, 9-6), matching Eley's double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds of her own.
Old Dominion took the early lead with a 7-2 game-opening run, but the Patriots quickly worked back into the game, taking their first advantage on a four-point play by Eley at the 13:14 mark. The lead would change hands five more times over the course of the first half and see five tied scores as a frenetic, up-and-down the court battle ensued.
Leading by eight with 4:05 to go, the Patriots succumbed to a 10-0 ODU run, ending with two Jen Nuzzo free throws at the 36-second mark to put the Lady Monarchs ahead 30-28. Eley, though, sank two free throws of her own with 15 seconds left in the period to send the teams to the locker rooms tied at 30.
Mason found a hot start to begin the second half, mounting a 15-3 charge to open play over the first 5:28 and earn its largest lead of the game. The Patriot lead would be tested multiple times over the game's span, but Mason did not relinquish the advantage. ODU moved as close as two points and, with 1:54 remaining, cut it to a 57-54 game as Jasmine Parker hit a free throw. Freshman Becky Cox answered back with a pair from the stripe to return the lead to five points, and it would stay a two-possession game for the duration. A Wilkins free throw with two seconds left sealed the victory and, as the horn sounded, the Patriots celebrated at midcourt.
The victory snapped the second-longest winless drought against one opponent among NCAA Division I schools, and was the second-straight home CAA win for Mason and its second of the year.
Sunday's game was Mason's WBCA PinkZone Day, and in addition to wearing pink warmup shirts and pink ribbons, the teams observed a moment of silence prior to the contest in memory of former N.C. State head coach Kay Yow and all who are affected by breast cancer.
Mason will look to continue its home winning streak on Thursday against Hofstra, as the Patriots and the Pride will do battle at 7 p.m.