BY NATALIE HEAVREN STAFF WRITER
“We’re better than we played today,” head coach Nyla Milleson said in her opening statement after women’s basketball dropped their second straight game. The 48-43 loss to William & Mary comes 10 days after the team’s last game, a Dec. 13 matchup against Georgetown which was canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test in the Hoyas program.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
MASON NEEDS TO FIND ITS OFFENSE
Mason scored just 43 points, the team’s fewest since scoring 36 at VCU on Feb. 26. While the Patriots were playing their first game in 10 days, Milleson said that blaming COVID-19 cancellations would just be an excuse.
Just six Patriots scored Wednesday afternoon and only Daijah Jefferson and Jazmyn Doster scored in double figures.
“We got to find a way to get off to a better start and we — we’ve talked about that and we’ve talked to the staff and we made one starting change and we’re trying to keep it simple. At the end of the day we got to make shots,” Milleson said. Holding an opposing team to 48 points is a good sign for the defense, but the offense will need to score more points in order to be competitive in games.
WILLIAM & MARY DID NOT HAVE THE ANSWER FOR DOSTER
Doster nearly single-handedly willed her team to victory, repeatedly taking it to the basket and scoring whenever her team needed it. She finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and one steal, though she was just 1-4 from the free-throw line.
While she provides a strong presence in the post, Doster will be challenged more against a tall, talented Ole Miss team on Saturday.
THREE-POINT SHOOTING NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Mason went just 1-16 from behind the arc against the Tribe, a season low in makes and percentage (6.3 percent). The Patriots’ lone three came on their first made basket of the game.
William & Mary made seven threes, enough to be a key difference-maker in the close game. Three-pointers are more than just an extra point — they can provide a momentum boost that Mason lacked Wednesday afternoon.
The Patriots return to the court on Dec. 19 at 12 p.m. against Ole Miss.