Even Steven: Mason’s Basketball Teams Are Neck and Neck

Posted: November 29, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Patriots men’s and women’s basketball teams have a competition of their own going on. Heading into the week after Thanksgiving, both teams had a 2-2 record.

Most recently, the men’s basketball team survived a 9-point first-half deficit and strong offensive rebounding by the Manhattan Jaspers to grab a critical early-season road win, downing the Jaspers, 72-66, in Riverdale, N.Y., on Nov. 26.

The Patriots made 24 of 30 free throws while Manhattan (0-2) was just 8 of 15 from the line. Mason shot 56 percent from the field to overcome a raucous crowd in the Jaspers’ home opener. Senior Jai Lewis, sport management major, had a game-high 17 points and senior Tony Skinn, communication major, was 10 of 12 from the free-throw line, including 4 in the final minute.

Sophomore Will Thomas, undeclared major, had 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Thomas and Lewis combined to go 13 of 20 from the field and 6 of 9 from the free-throw line, with 13 rebounds between them. Senior Lamar Butler, communication major, added 16 points, 10 of those coming in the first half.

The men return to action on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. when they play their Colonial Athletic Association opener, traveling to Georgia State University for the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

After winning their first two games last week, the George Mason women’s team fell to Auburn University, 77-36, and Arkansas State University, 74-66, in the 2005 Duke Classic women’s basketball tournament held in Durham, N.C., Nov. 26-27.

Tied with George Mason with less than four minutes to play in the Duke Classic consolation game, the Arkansas State women’s team rallied to defeat the Patriots for third place.

In that game, Mason junior Tracy Ann Holness, undeclared major, led the Patriots with a career-high 21 points and also contributed six rebounds, an assist and a block. Two other George Mason players scored in double-figures, as senior Jen Daniels, business major, nailed three three-pointers and finished with 15, and freshman Colleen Shumaker, communication major, put up a career-high 10 points.

The Patriots brought 20 points off the bench in contrast to Arkansas State’s 4.

The George Mason women’s team next faces the University of Miami on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.

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