FAIRFAX, Va. – The East Carolina women’s basketball team fell to the George Mason Patriots 54-41 Thursday at EagleBank Arena. The loss ends a two-week road swing for the Pirates as they return to Minges Coliseum Sunday.
George Mason (4-5) threw the first punch in the game, holding the Pirates to seven points in the first quarter while scoring 17 of their own. The Patriots opened the scoring with a pair of three-point shots and went from there. In a quarter with few bright spots for ECU, Tiara Chambers registered her 88th career block, moving her into a tie for sixth all-time in the category in program history.
The Pirates (5-2) battled in the second quarter, keeping the margin where it was. Both teams scored a dozen points in the period, but ECU was unable to pull back into the game any. The team spread out the scoring in the second with five players finding the basket. A Patriots shot at the horn pushed the margin back to 10 at the break.
George Mason was able to extend the lead once again in the second quarter by pounding the ball inside, racking up 12 points in the paint. Danae McNeal did her best to counteract the Mason offense, scoring six points of her own in the quarter but it simply was not enough as the Pirates went into the final period down by 17.
The Pirates made a valiant effort to come back in the fourth quarter, recording a 9-0 run over nearly seven minutes of game time to cut the margin into single digits, but that was as far as the comeback effort went. A Mason free throw did eventually break up the run after several empty possessions saw chances to further chip into the deficit go by the wayside and the Patriots played stout defense and made their free throws to hold on for victory.
Ultimately, holding George Mason to only seven points in the final quarter was not much consolation as ECU was only able to put in 11 points of their own in the period on a mere 4-18 from the field. Synia Johnson’s 13 points led the Pirates on the day but a poor shooting performance doomed any chance of victory.
After two weeks on the road, the Pirates get to return home on Sunday to face the VCU Rams at Minges Coliseum. The game is set for 2 p.m. and fans may purchase their single-game tickets here.