Hempstead, N.Y. - Senior forward Shante Evans set a season high with 33 points and tied a career high with 23 rebounds while junior forward Anma Onyeuku added 12 points to lift Hofstra to a 72-67 overtime victory over George Mason in a Colonial Athletic Association matchup on Thursday evening at the Mack Sports Complex.
Sophomore guard Andreana Thomas notched 10 assists-marking the fourth double-digit assist game of the season-and junior guard Annie Payton registered 11 points to help Hofstra improve to 9-9 overall and 5-2 in CAA play. Joyous Tharrington and Shavonne Duckett both scored 14 points but Mason fell to 6-13 and 1-7.
Hofstra swept the season series from Mason after beating the Patriots in Fairfax, Va. on Jan. 13. The second win came because Evans posted one of her best career games in a stellar career. The West Chester, Va. native tied her previous personal high of 23 rebounds which also came against Mason on Feb. 24, 2011. Her 33 points marked the second 30-point game of the season and finished just three points shy of her career high (36 set at William & Mary on March 2, 2011).
Evans hit a layup for the first points of the overtime session and Onyeuku drew a three-point play to give Hofstra a 62-59 edge 1:30 into the extra session. Duckett and Tharrington hit back-to-back shots for a one-point Patriots lead with 2:36 left.
That would represent the last time Hofstra would trail.Evans drew a foul on the low block the next trip down and hit one of two to tie the score at 63. Off the second, missed, free throw, Hofstra forced a turnover and Payton capitalized by drawing a blocking foul on her drive.
Payton made one-of-two shots and Hofstra made a defensive stop. Evans was fouled again and also made the front end of her two shots. Jackson got the rebound on another defensive stop and fed Payton for a fast-break layup for a 67-63 lead at the one minute mark.
A third consecutive defensive stop led to Evans' rebound. Following a pass to Thomas, freshman Asia Jackson caught the cross-court pass and made a layup for a 69-63 lead.
Talisha's Watts' jumper in front of Hofstra bench stopped Pride's 7-0 run. Mason would not score again and Jackson secured the victory when she jabbed the ball away from Kyana Jacobs' drive for a key steal with less than 24 seconds left and the Pride up five. Mason would not get to within a single possession the rest of the way.
Evans notched her 60th career double-double, which continues to lead all active Division I players. The two-time All-America selection is already the program's career leader and points and rebounds and now has 1,933 career points.
Hofstra led by as much as seven points in the final eight minutes of the second half before the Patriots chipped away at the lead. Janna Pickard hit a clutch three-pointer to tie it at 53 with 2:51 remaining. Payton responded with a three-pointer, though Amber Easter hit two clutch free throws with just less than 10 seconds on the clock.
The Pride had a chance to win it in regulation. Out of a timeout, Thomas' shot at the buzzer hit the right side of the rim and bounced out to the send the contest into overtime.
Thomas racked up seven assists and Evans scored 14 points in the opening half to lift Hofstra to a 35-30 advantage at the break.
Evans needed less than seven full minutes to reach double figures, going 5-for-6 from the field to begin the contest. Onyeuku added seven points before the midway point of the opening half as the duo combined for 17 of Hofstra's first 21 points.
Hofstra's opening surge allowed the Pride to put four freshmen on the floor at one time with Ruth Sherrill, Dee Thomas-Palmer, Alexis Carter and Jackson sharing the court with Payton. The young players built the Pride's lead up to nine before Mason went on a 12-4 run to tie the score at 28.
Payton responded with a left wing three pointer and Thomas added two late free throws after drawing a fast-break foul to provide the margin heading into the locker room.
Hofstra will start a stretch of three road games in eight days on Sunday when the Pride travels to Delaware to face the 20th-ranked Blue Hens in a CAA matchup at 2 p.m.