George Mason Edges American, 54-51, in Women's Basketball

Feb. 1, 2001

Box Score

George Mason held on to a slim lead down the stretch as they earned a thrilling 54-51 victory against American in a Colonial Athletic Association women's basketball game in front of 251 at AU's Bender Arena tonight.

The Patriots (15-4, 6-2 CAA) jumped out to their largest lead of the game, 40-25, with 13:12 left to play, but AU used a 23-10 run to get within two points with 1:48 remaining, 50-48. Following a Jen Surlas free-throw and Vernessa Neamo lay-up for GMU, Christina Black (Fr.-R, G, Upper Marlboro, MD/Elizabeth Seton) hit a three-pointer to keep the Eagles (4-15, 2-6 CAA) within two points with 31 seconds remaining, 53-51. After Surlas connected on one-of-two free-throws, the Eagles found themselves with two chances to tie the game in the final 21 seconds, but one of Kaitlin Schuyler's (Fr., G, Baltimore, MD/Mercy) three-point attempts rimmed out and the other was blocked right before time expired.

Neamo led the Patriots with a game-high 15 points while Khalilah Smith added nine points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Danielle Johnson (Jr., G, Pittsburgh, PA/Woodland Hills) paced the Eagles with 11 points and Hollie Steinman (Jr., F, Pittsfield, MA/Taconic) chipped in 10 points in addition to her game-highs of 12 rebounds and five blocks.

The Patriots used a three-pointer from Shelbylynn McBride to spur a 17-6 first-half run and take a 27-18 lead with 2:43 to play in the half. AU's Schuyler converted two free-throws to cut the halftime lead to 27-20 while Johnson led all scorers with 10 points at the break.

GMU next hosts CAA powerhouse Old Dominion on Tue., Feb. 6 at 7:00 p.m. while American travels to take on the Tribe of William & Mary on Sun., Feb. 4 at 2:00 p.m.