Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Patriots Clip Women’s Hoops, 77-72

(Tribe Athletics)

WILLIAMSBURG — In a game that saw neither team lead by more than eight, George Mason outlasted William & Mary women’s basketball on Sunday afternoon, 77-72, at Kaplan Arena.

W&M falls to 0-3, while the Patriots improve to 3-0.

The matchup’s back and forth nature was on display from the opening tap, as Bella Nascimento scored five of the Tribe’s first eight points. Her triple with 5:37 to go in the first quarter tied the game at eight.

Kayla Rolph knocked down the Green and Gold’s second 3-pointer of the quarter with under a minute to go off an assist from Alexa Mikeska, as Mason took a 18-15 lead into the second.

Free throws from Nylah Young and a trifecta from Cassidy Geddes launched an 8-0 Tribe spurt. Young added two more from the charity stripe and a jumper to give W&M the largest lead they would hold all game, 26-20 with 6:47 remaining in the half.

Mason responded well however, and after Nascimento converted in the paint to put the Tribe up 30-28, the Patriots went on their own 8-0 run to close the quarter.

Both teams copied and pasted their scoring outputs from the first frame to the second, with the visitors holding a 36-30 advantage at the half.

The Patriots maintained their six-point lead early in the third quarter before buckets by Young and Geddes, and free throws by Rebekah Frisby-Smith tied the game again at 38.

Minutes later, Anahi-Lee Cauley converted an and-one to put the Tribe up 41-40 with 3:53 left in the third. It was the last time W&M would hold the lead.

Both teams heated up offensively as the quarter drew to a close, combining for 26 points in the frame’s final 3:36. Young, Nascimento and Geddes contributed all the offense for the Tribe who found themselves down 54-53 at quarter’s-end.

The trio were the three top scorers in the game for the Green and Gold, with Young turning in her third straight game of 20-plus and Nascimento and Geddes turning in season-highs. They scored 23, 18 and 11 respectively.

George Mason found themselves ahead 64-58 with 6:10 to play after knocking down their second three in a 45-second span.

The Patriots, who only tried 13 3-pointers on the afternoon, heated up from deep in the final quarter, going 3-for-5.

After a Kayla Beckwith reverse layup, Mason responded with another triple to give themselves their largest lead of the game, 71-63 with 3:54 to go.

Undeterred, Young scored inside before Nascimento hit her third 3-pointer of the game as the Tribe found themselves only trailing by three with 1:45 on the clock.

Down 74-68 with 70 seconds to go, Mikeska split a pair at the line, with Beckwith grabbing the offensive board on the miss. She found Geddes who drained a triple to make the score 74-72.

After Mason added a free throw, the Tribe found themselves with possession down three with 9.9 on the clock. Nascimento launched a 27-footer that didn’t drop, and the Patriots eventually came up with the ball. They added two more from the line with less than a second left to make the final 77-72.

Young, who has led the Tribe in rebounding and scoring in all three games this year, posted her 18th career double-double with 23 and 10. Nascimento added six assists, tying her career-high, to go with her 18 points.

George Mason had four double-figure scorers, led by Taylor Jameson and Sonia Smith who had 16 each.

The Tribe shot 42.4% from the floor and were 7-for-24 from three. Mason shot 47.5% from the field. W&M won the rebound battle 39-31 but turned the ball over 19 times compare to Mason’s 13.

Up Next 

The Green and Gold face their first road test of the season when they travel to Virginia on Wednesday night. The game is set to tip at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ACCNX, with a free audio-only broadcast on the Tribe Sports Network.

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