Women’s basketball team wins season home opener


By Hogan Lepore, Staff Writer

Mason’s women’s basketball started their 2017-2018 season at EagleBank Arena with a win, as the women defeated Old Dominion University 66-53 on Friday, Nov. 17 in their home opener.

Mason graduate student Natalie Butler led the team in points (21), rebounds (16), free throws (five to seven) and blocks. The center also shared a team high in steals (two). The Fairfax Station, Va. native dominated on Friday night.

Sophomore guard Jacy Bolton also contributed to the team’s win by scoring 14 points and leading the team in minutes played (37) and three-point percentage (66.7 percent).  

Mason’s defense was the key to their win against the Monarchs, as Old Dominion was kept to just nine points in the second quarter and six points in the fourth quarter.

Although the Patriots started their season with a loss to the University of Michigan, they have rattled off four straight wins since, defeating Loyola University, Old Dominion (Friday), Southeast Missouri State (Saturday) and American University (Monday). This win streak can put the Patriot women in good position as they enter conference play come late December by generating early season confidence.

As the short season continues, freshman guard Nicole Cardano-Hillary leads the Patriots in points scored (86), points per game (17.2), three pointers (13), free throws (25-31) and steals (10) through the short 2018 season. A native of Madrid, Spain, Cardano-Hillary has also recorded a game high in points (23) against Loyola.

Butler, who played a major role in defeating Old Dominion, also had an impressive start to the season. The 6’5” center leads the team in field goals made (29), defensive rebounds (43), total rebounds (64), rebounds per game (12.8) and blocks (13). Butler is also the only member of the Patriots to average a double-double in the first five games of the season (16.2 points per game and 12.8 rebounds per game).

The Patriots added one win against Drake University and one loss to Colorado in the Rocky Mountain Hoops Classic during the Thanksgiving break. While the Mason women have not played any conference games yet, they are currently sitting at second place (6-2) in the Atlantic 10 behind Saint Joseph’s (5-0) and ahead of Dayton (5-2).

Photos Courtesy of George Mason Athletics