TOWSON, Md. - George Mason used a 6-0 run mid-way through the second half to break open a tie game and defeat the Towson University women's basketball team, 65-54 on Thursday night. A trio of Tigers scored in double figures in the game led by junior guard Tanisha McTiller's 22 points.
The Tigers and Patriots (6-9, 1-3 CAA) opened the second half tied at 29-29. Towson scored 11 of the first 17 points in the second stanza to take a 40-35 lead. That advantage for the Tigers (6-9, 0-4 CAA) which came with 14:14 to play in the game was the largest lead for the home team. The two squads traded baskets over the next several minutes. A McTiller jumper at 10:46 gave the Tigers a 44-41 lead. George Mason scored five straight points to take a 46-44 lead with 10:16 to go in the game. A jumper from senior forward Michelle Peebles tied the game at 46-46 with 8:39 to play.
Cierra Strickland made one of two from the free throw line at 8:17 to jump start that 6-0 run which gave George Mason the lead back for good. The run was capped by a three-point play from Janna Pickard at 6:30, which made it a 52-46 advantage for the visitors. The Tigers and Patriots traded baskets as McTiller connected on her second three-pointer of the game at 3:51 to cut the visitor lead to 54-51. However, George Mason went 11-for-12 from the foul line in the final four minutes to seal the 65-54 victory.
The first half of the game proved to be a back-and-forth battle that featured three ties. The Patriots opened the game on an 8-2 run. McTiller scored five of the game's next seven points to make it a 10-7 game with 9:38 to play in the half. George Mason used an 11-4 run to take a 21-11 lead with 5:17 to go in the half. That was the Patriots' largest lead of the first 20 minutes. Nine straight points from Peebles cut the Tiger deficit to one, 21-20 with 3:14 to play. George Mason scored five of the next seven to push its advantage back to four, 26-22. Towson scored 10 of the half's final 13 points to send the two teams into the locker room tied at 29-29. Freshman guard Dominique Johnson had five points for the Tigers in the final 46 seconds, including the game-tying three with eight seconds remaining.
Towson shot 39.6% from the field and made 7-of-9 shots from the foul line. George Mason shot 37% from the floor and was aided by making 19-of-23 opportunities from the charity stripe. The Patriots won the rebounding battle, 42-26.
McTiller scored 20 or more points in a game for the fifth time this season. She added four rebounds and four steals in the game. Peebles finished with 15 points and four rebounds for the Tigers. Johnson had 11 points and nine assists with only two turnovers in 39 minutes of work.
Strickland led George Mason with 20 points and four steals while Amber Easter added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists. Talisha Watts led the Patriots on the boards with 12.
The Tigers return to action on Sunday, Jan. 20 when they travel to Delaware for a 2 p.m. game.