Women’s Basketball Earns A10 Season Opening Win
DAVIDSON, N.C. — A game that featured 15 lead changes and eight ties, Davidson broke free by opening the fourth quarter with a 10-4 run on its way to securing a 67-59 win in its Atlantic 10 opener against George Mason inside John M. Belk Arena.
Down 49-47 to start the fourth, the Wildcats (7-7, 1-0 A-10) ran off the game-changing run to grab a 57-51 lead, which they would never give back. Three-pointers by Katie Turner and Justine Lyon helped spark the spurt. George Mason was held scoreless in the final 2:44 of the game.
The win was Davidson’s first-ever in its A-10 opener since joining the league in 2014-15.
Lyon led four ‘Cats in double figures with a double-double on 17 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Sarah Donovan also had a double-double, her sixth of the season, with 10 points and 10 rebounds (six on offense) to go with three assists and two steals.
Kianna Speight scored 16 points and Turner rounded out the quartet in double-digits with 15 points to go with five assists. The duo hit a combined six of the Wildcats’ eight three-pointers.
George Mason (8-6, 0-1 A-10) had two hit double figures led by Nicole Cardano-Hillary’s 21 points. Camarie Gatling had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, while two other Patriots scored nine points each.
Davidson helped off-set a tough shooting day (32.9 percent) by crashing the boards, pulling in its third 50-rebound game of the season. It got a season-best 24 on offense, earning 17 second-chance points off those rebounds.
The ‘Cats defense forced GMU into 18 turnovers and just a 2-for-16 shooting performance from three-land, while getting a season-high 18 fast-break points.
The first quarter alone had nine lead changes and two ties before Ally Welling broke up the final tie in the quarter with a couple putbacks off offensive rebounds to give Davidson a 21-17 lead at the end of the quarter.
A 15-3 run to start the next quarter gave George Mason a 32-24 lead, forcing the Wildcats to burn a timeout. The ‘Cats chipped away and used their own run of 11-4, highlighted by a running layup before the horn from Turner, to close within one at halftime, 36-35.
Much like the first two quarters, the third period saw the lead change four times. Davidson had leads of 45-44 and 47-46 on free throws by Lyon and Donovan before ending the quarter down 49-47.
Davidson takes to the road for its next A-10 game, traveling to Duquesne on Wednesday, Jan. 9, for a 5 p.m. tip.
GAME NOTES: This was the sixth meeting all-time between both team’s women’s basketball programs since Davidson joined the Atlantic 10 … The series is tied at 3-all … Davidson improved to 13-13 all-time in league openers … the Wildcats kept some winnings streaks alive: four in a row at home this season, three in a row vs. A-10 foes and two straight vs. A-10 foes at home … Lyon’s double-double was the fourth of her career and second this season … the pair of double-doubles in today’s game was the second time this season Davidson has accomplished the feat … Davidson won the program’s 440th game during its 40th season.