FAIRFAX, Va. - The Towson University women's basketball team battled back from a nine-point second half deficit for a 53-51 win at George Mason on Sunday night. Freshmen guards Alliyah Berger and Dominique Johnson combined for 30 points to help the Tigers (8-16, 2-11 CAA) snap a five-game losing streak.
"I'm excited to get the win tonight," said Towson coach Joe Mathews. "I'm proud of the kids for they way they battled tonight and never gave up. I thought Alliyah and Dominique really came through for us tonight."
"Hopefully we can use this and get better from here," added Mathews.
Leading 25-23 coming out of the half, George Mason (8-15, 3-9 CAA) used an 8-1 run to extend its advantage to 33-24 with 17:05 to play. That nine-point margin was the Patriots' largest of the game. Towson responded with a 10-4 run which pulled the visitors to within three, 37-34 with 11:54 remaining. The Patriots scored nine of the next 13 points to make it a 46-38 game with 6:21 left in the game.
Johnson connected on a lay-up at 5:35 which started the Tigers' comeback attack and made it a 46-40 game. After another bucket from Johnson, Rahneeka Saunders made a pair of shots from the foul line which pushed the home team lead to 48-42. Berger scored the next five points of the game which made it a 48-47 game with 2:56 to play. Johnson hit a pair of shots from the charity stripe at 1:07 which gave Towson a 49-48 lead. That was the visitors' first lead since late in the first half. Junior guard Tanisha McTiller went 4-for-4 from the foul line in the final minute of play which pushed the lead to 53-48 with 11 seconds to play. The Patriots hit a late three-pointer to make the final score 53-51.
The Tigers and Patriots battled throughout the first half of the game. Towson opened the game on an 8-2 run. George Mason scored seven of the next nine points which made it a 10-9 game with 9:33 to play in the half. The two teams traded baskets over the next several minutes as Berger's three-pointer gave Towson a 21-16 lead. George Mason closed the first half on a 9-2 run to take a 25-23 lead at the break.
Towson shot 25.9% from the field and made seven three-pointers. The Tigers shot 61.5% from the free throw line in the game. George Mason shot 31.6% from the field and made seven three-pointers. The Patriots shot 80% from the foul line. Towson won the rebounding battle, 45-43.
Johnson led the Tigers with 17 points, three steals and two assists in the game. Berger contributed a season-high 13 points and two rebounds. McTiller finished with 12 points and became the 19th player in program history to reach 900 points for their career. McTiller also added nine rebounds and four steals. Senior forward Michelle Peebles led the Tigers on the boards with 10.
Saunders led all scorers with 18 points and six steals while Janaa Pickard contributed 11 points.
Towson looks to make it two straight wins on Tuesday, Feb. 19 when it hosts Hofstra at 7 p.m.