Women’s Basketball Falls to Bucknell; Wrestling Splits Dual Meets

Posted: December 11, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Senior Lateisha Wade drained a three-pointer with one second showing on the clock, but the Mason women’s basketball team fell just short at Bucknell last Tuesday, battling the Bison all the way in a 67-64 double-overtime defeat.

It was Mason’s first double-overtime game in nearly ten years. Mason (3-4) held off the Bison (3-5) through three periods, but was outscored 8-5 in the second overtime to tally the loss.

Wade, who finished one point shy of her career high with 25 points, was joined in double figures by sophomore Rashauna Hobbs, who tied her career high with 12 points, 10 of which coming in the first half.

Senior Moni Akintunde, whose 15 rebounds tied a career high and was highest among all players, also added in five points, two steals and a block. Bucknell’s offense was paced by Amanda Brown, who chipped in 23 points, 14 in the first half.

Both teams’ offenses had struggles in the early part of the game, as the first score came at the 17:39 mark on a Bucknell free throw. Mason answered back with their first field goal of the game, a Chynelle Rogers jumper in the paint, and maintained control of the contest for most of the first half.

The Bison tied the score at 8 on a basket by Lauren Schober and took a brief lead at 17-16 with 9:24 remaining in the period. That lead would last just 13 seconds, though, as Mason embarked on a 9-0 scoring run to take its largest lead of the stanza at 25-16. That advantage gradually shrunk to three points as the final horn of the opening period sounded.

Coming out of the break, the tenuous Mason lead ended as the Bison converted four baskets against a pair of field goals by Wade. However, a free throw by freshman Brittany Poindexter along with a pair of free throws by Wade returned the lead to the Patriots at 36-34 with 14:41 to go.

That lead would hold up for more than 10 minutes, until Champion sank a pair of free throws to give Bucknell a 51-50 lead with 4:13 remaining in the game. While it was short-lived again, as Hobbs drained a pair from the charity stripe to take the 52-51 advantage, Bucknell answered back with two free throws of their own to retake the lead.

Wade knotted the game up at 53 with under a minute to go, sinking the back-end of a pair of free throws with 38.9 seconds showing on the clock, but Foster scored with 15.5 seconds remaining to give the Bison a 55-53 lead.

Again, it was Wade who pulled the Patriots back into the game, connecting two more free throw tries to tie the score at 55. Playing for the last shot, the Bison turned the ball over with one second remaining on a traveling violation, but the Patriots were unable to put a shot into play as time expired.

In the bonus period, the chess match continued with the Bison striking first with a basket by Wright. Two more Wade free throws tied it up, and Bucknell responded with a Champion field goal to take a 59-57 lead.

Junior Whitney Ward sank her first basket of the day with 89 seconds left in the overtime to tie the game at 59. After a defensive rebound by Moni Akintunde set up the final possession for the Patriots, Wade was unable to end the game in the first extra period when her jumper fell just short.

In the second overtime, Mason took an early lead on two more free throws from Ward and Akintunde, but the Bison scored six in a row to take the lead for good.

Mason returns to action at home on Dec. 19 with a 7 p.m. tilt with American at the Patriot Center.

Wrestling

Cayle Byers
Freshman Cayle Byers earned CAA Co-Rookie of the Week honors for his 13-1 start to his Mason wrestling career.
Mason Athletics Photo

After opening up its conference schedule with a 24-18 loss at the hands of the Drexel Dragons on Friday at the Fieldhouse, the Mason wrestling team rebounded to close out the day’s action with a 28-18 come-from-behind victory over American.

After Mason and American split decisions at the first four weight classes, the Eagles took control of the meet with back-to-back falls at 157 pounds and 165 pounds to take an 18-6 lead in the team scoring.

Senior Randy Oates began the comeback with a dominant performance against Jonathon Powell at 174 pounds, pinning the American sophomore in a quick 59 seconds.

Down 18-12 after Oates’ pin, freshman Zach Ulm tied the meet with a pin of his own at 184 pounds, ending the match against American’s Andy Semple in 4:36 to tie the meet at 18 each.

Freshman Cayle Byers, the reigning Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Co-Rookie of the Week award winner, gave Mason the lead with an 18-7 major decision win at 197 pounds. With Mason leading 22-18, redshirt senior Harry Zander earned six points with a forfeit win at the heavyweight class to provide the final margin of victory.

In Mason’s first meet of the day, a CAA dual against Drexel, the Dragons began the meet with a 4-2 win by junior Steve Mytych over Mason freshman Denny Herndon at 125 pounds. Mason answered with a fall by Joe Coughlin at 133 pounds to take an early 6-3 lead in the team scoring. However, Mason’s lead proved to be short-lived, as Drexel earned victories at the next four weight classes to essentially clinch the meet, taking a 21-6 lead heading into the 174-pound bout.

Mason won three of the next four matches, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap. Oates and Byers earned decisions at 174 pounds and 197 pounds, respectively, and Zander closed out the meet with a pin over Drexel’s Bryan Deinhardt at the heavyweight class.

Sandwiched between the Mason contests was a meet between Drexel and American. Drexel won the meet by a final score of 25-12 to end the day’s action with a 2-0 record to improve to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in CAA duals. American was winless on the day to fall to 0-7 in dual meets on the season.

The Patriots now stand at 3-2 overall and 0-1 in conference duals.

Mason returns to action when it wrestles at the Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C., on Dec. 29 and 30. The two-day tournament is hosted by the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

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