FAIRFAX, VA - A strong second half from Georgia State led the Panthers to a 64-52 win over the George Mason women's basketball team Sunday afternoon in Colonial Athletic Association play. Mason led by nine at the halftime break, but GSU came out strong to start the second half and held on for the win.
Mason (6-12, 1-6 CAA) shot 20.0 percent from the field (4-20) in the second half to Georgia State's (10-8, 2-5 CAA) 55.6 percent (15-27) efficiency as the Panthers outscored the Patriots 42-21 in the final 20 minutes. Mason won the rebounding battle for the fifth consecutive game, outrebounding GSU 37-34. The Patriots used 15 GSU turnovers to convert into 21 points as Rahneeka Saunders led Mason offensively with 10 points and six steals. Amber Easter finished the game with eight points and a team-best seven rebounds.
GSU was paced by four players in double-figure scoring led by Cody Paulk's game-high 18 points. Kayla Nolan added 12, while Kendra Long and Miranda Smith each contributed 11 points. Paulk posted a double-double in the contest, pulling down 12 rebounds.
The first three field goals from the floor were three-pointers as GSU pulled out with a 6-4 lead at the 16:11 mark. The conference foes worked through three consecutive lead changes before Mason took the advantage on a Janaa Pickard trey at 11:48.
Mason pushed its lead out to nine points using a 6-0 run lasting just over a minute for a 20-11 ballgame at the 7:11 mark. The Panthers cut the score to four points on three occasions, but Mason closed the half on a 7-2 run for the 31-22 halftime advantage.
GSU opened the second half with a 14-4 run to retake the lead at 36-35 following a Paulk bucket at 16:15. Saunders converted an offensive rebound to pull Mason within one as Talisha Watts drained two at the free throw line for a 39-38 advantage at the 14:30 mark.
Nolan returned the lead to the Panthers on the next possession as GSU took a four-point lead before the Patriots trimmed the score to 44-43 on a Shavonne Duckett layup at 11:53. Duckett then tied the score at the free throw line, but Paulk put the Panthers back up with a jumper that followed.
GSU took the first double-digit lead of the game on a Paulk bucket at 4:18 as GSU led 58-48. The Panthers pushed their lead out to 12 on three occasions, including the final 64-52 score.
The Patriots hit the road for a lone matchup at Hofstra on Thursday. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. in Hempstead, N.Y.