Athletics

Hawk Defense Stifles in 59-47 Win Over George Mason

The Saint Joseph's women's basketball team have tied the 1976-77 team's 22-2 record, doing so in emphatic fashion with a 59-47 victory over George Mason on Thursday evening in a clash between two of the Atlantic 10's best.

Female SJU basketball player throwing ball into net on court

Photo Credit: SJU Athletics

Holding George Mason nearly 30 points below its season average, St. Joe's improved to 22-2 overall and 11-1 in conference play to sit atop the A-10 standings. George Mason drops just its second game in conference play, moving to 18-4 overall and 9-2 in the Atlantic 10.
 
FIRST QUARTER

  • St. Joe's fell in an early hole, only hitting two of the first 11 attempts from the field to hold a 10-4 deficit at the opening media timeout.
  • After the break, Chloe Welch knocked down her first bucket of the night to help cut the deficit to four.
  • George Mason knocked down a second-chance three from the wing to extend the margin to seven before Emma Boslet backed her defender down and dropped in a basket as time expired. The Hawks trailed 13-8 after the first quarter, the first time trailing after the opening frame in nearly a month.

 
SECOND QUARTER

  • The hosts doubled the advantage with the first five points of the second before Laura Ziegler ended the spurt with a three-pointer from the top of the key.
  • Trailing by nine, Talya Brugler and Mackenzie Smith combined for 10-consecutive points before a second triple of the game for Ziegler put the Hawks up by four with a 13-0 run, forcing George Mason into a timeout.
  • The Hawks scored the next five points out of the break, led by a Gabby Casey three as St. Joe's forced the Patriots to nine-consecutive misses to build a 29-20 lead.
  • A pair of free throws from Welch gave the Hawks a seven-point lead at the half, entering the locker room with a 33-26 lead.

 
THIRD QUARTER

  • Points were hard to come by for both sides in the third, the Hawks held scoreless over the first three minutes as George Mason closed the gap to 33-30.
  • Ziegler knocked down the first bucket of the quarter for St. Joe's before Brugler traded baskets with the Patriots to extend the lead back to 38-32.
  • Holding George Mason off the scoreboard over the final three minutes, the Hawks were only able to capitalize with four points during the stretch, taking a 42-34 lead into the final 10 minutes.

 
FOURTH QUARTER

  • Brugler and Ziegler combined for the first four points over about three minutes of action, pushing the St. Joe's lead to double figures.
  • Ziegler's 19th point of the night extended the advantage to as many as 13 points midway through the fourth before George Mason slimmed the margin to seven after a three pointer with under four minutes to play.
  • The Hawks were able to take care of the ball and force stops, converting on the other end as Welch sealed the victory with an old-fashioned three-point play with 1:32 on the clock for a 14-point lead.
  • St. Joe's walked off the court with a 59-47 victory, earning the ninth-straight win of the season to keep the undefeated record on the road intact.

 GAME NOTES

  • Laura Ziegler returned to the floor for her sixth-consecutive double-double, dropping game-highs in points (19) and rebounds (14).
  • Talya Brugler and Mackenzie Smith each finished with 11 points on the evening. Brugler climbed to 14th all-time in scoring in program history, while Smith is now just three points shy of 1,000 on her career.
  • Chloe Welch added nine points in the win, Gabby Casey leading the team off the bench with five points.
  • The Hawks shot 22-52 (42.3%) from the field and just 5-16 (31.3%) from distance, four of the five makes coming in the second quarter. St. Joe's shot a 10-12 (83.3%) clip from the free throw line.
  • Saint Joseph's stifled the Patriot attack, George Mason finishing just 20-60 (33.3) from the floor. The hosts were just 3-14 (21.4%) from the free throw line on the evening.
  • The Hawks are now 12-0 on the road, still holding the most road wins in the country among undefeated teams.
  • St. Joe's disrupted the eight-game win streak for the Patriots, the two teams entering the night with the longest streak in the conference. George Mason also dropped its first home game after winning the first nine in EagleBank Arena.

UP NEXT
St. Joe's takes nearly a week off before hosting Dayton in a Valentine's Day clash, the two teams set for a 7 p.m. tip on February 14.

This news article originally appeared on sjuhawks.com.