Seniors Tish Wescott and Jen Surlas scored in double figures to lead the George Mason University women's basketball team over American, 69-51, to close their regular season on Senior Recognition Day at home in the Patriot Center.
With the win the Patriots improve to a program-best 20-7 overall and 11-5 in the Colonial Athletic Association. This is the fourth season in George Mason women's basketball history that the team has compiled 20-or-more wins. American ends their season with a 4-23 overall record and a 2-14 mark in their final season in the CAA.
Both teams got off to a slow start as the Patriots took the 4-3 lead off a Wescott layup about six minutes into the game. The Patriots extended their lead to 10-5 off four straight Wescott points, but American responded with a seven-point run, capped off by a three-pointer by freshman Anastasia Goncharova, to take the 12-10 advantage. A 13-4 George Mason run, including a three-pointer by freshman Jen Derevjanik, put the Patriots back on top, 23-16. George Mason led at the break, 27-22.
A Surlas three-pointer started the scoring for the Patriots in the second half. Two straight Eagle three-pointers closed the George Mason lead to one, 30-29, and American managed to tie the game, 31-31, off a layup by senior Jina Lewis (New Castle, DE/William Penn). Another Surlas three-pointer ignited the Patriots as they would outscore the Eagles, 24-2, in the next 10:39 to take their largest lead of the game, ahead 22 points, 57-35. The Patriots would go on to win, 69-51.
Wescott led the Patriots with 12 points, six rebounds and a career-high five steals. Derevjanik added 11 points, a career- and game-high six steals and four rebounds. Surlas was the third Patriot to score in double-figures with 10 points, a season- and game-high eight rebounds, three steals and three assists. Senior Jill Regan, in her final home game for the Green & Gold, contributed eight points, six rebounds, two assists and a block in the Patriot win.
Three Eagles also posted double-figure points, led by freshman Kaitlin Schuyler with a game-high 16 points and three assists. Junior Danielle Johnson and Lewis added 12 and 11 points, respectively.