The Patriots suffered a 64-51 loss to the Billikens on Feb. 9 inside EagleBank Arena. Trailing by two at the break (35-33), the Mason women’s basketball team was outscored 17-8 in the third quarter. The hole proved too much to overcome as the Patriots drop to 2-9 in conference play.
"We did not get off to a great start and Saint Louis scored a lot of easy buckets in the first half," said head coach Nyla Milleson. "We made a great run in the second quarter, but came out flat in the second half. We were unable to take them out of any of their strengths."
Junior Nicole Cardaño-Hillary led the Patriots with a team-high 23 points to go along with five assists and four rebounds. She moved into fourth all-time in Mason scoring with 1,645 career points.
Fellow junior Marika Korpinen was the only other Patriot to finish in double figures with 13. She scored nine points in the second quarter, on 3-of-3 shooting from behind the arc. The guard also added a team-high six rebounds.
The Patriots finished with a 33.3 percent (20-60) mark from the field and made five 3-pointers (.278). On the other end, Saint Louis shot 54.2 percent (26-48) from the floor and made four treys (.444).
Mason shot just 20.0 percent from the field in the first quarter and was held scoreless for nearly five minutes but trailed by six at the end of the period (13-7). SLU went 4-for-11 (.364) from the charity stripe in the opening stanza, but shot 50.0 percent from the field.
The Billikens made 6-of-7 to open the second quarter, extending its advantage to 14 with 4:58 remaining (31-17). The Patriots responded with a blistering 14-0 run over nearly four minutes to tie the ballgame with 1:43 to go (31-31). Korpinen went 3-for-3 from deep while sophomore Devyn Wilson scored four points during the stretch. The Billikens made a basket at the buzzer to lead by two at the break (35-33).
Out of the break, the Patriots struggled to get it going offensively. Saint Louis went on an 8-0 spurt to extend its lead to nine with 4:22 in the third quarter (46-37). The Patriots went without a field goal for the final 7:35 minutes of the quarter. The Billikens outscored the Patriots 17-8 in the period to lead by 11 (52-41).
The third quarter hole proved too much to overcome as the Patriots could not complete the comeback, falling 64-51.
The Patriots hosted its annual Pink Game on Sunday, presented by Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. Local breast cancer survivors were honored before and during the game.
"This is a special day," said Milleson. "It's something these women and families look forward to every year and we're honored to have them."
Mason is off from game competition until Feb. 15, when the Patriots travel to George Washington. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.