FAIRFAX, Va (WDVM) — On Wednesday, George Mason women’s basketball kicked off Atlantic-10 conference play against Fordham, falling to the Rams 73-64.

It was the first time the Patriots were on the floor since December 20, and the team was also without head coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis (Covid-19 protocols).

Associate head coach Niki Washington stepped in and had the team ready to go early on, leading after the 1st quarter 14-13. However, a sluggish 2nd and 3rd quarter had the Patriots trailing by 17 heading into the 4th.

“I think our girls fought hard,” said Washington. “They are a better team right now. I think they played hard, they defended our girls, and I think we gave them our best shot right now. [We] prepared them as best as we can without coach here, and I feel like they did a good job coming out and executing.”

It was a career night for senior forward Amaya Scott, scoring her career best 28 points to go along with eight rebounds. Scott was also able to tally her 1,000th career point. Jayla Adams and Jordan Wakefield both added 11 points on the night, making for three Patriots in double figures.

For Fordham, the team had four players with 12 or more points. Reigning Atlantic-10 Co-Player of the Year Anna DeWolfe led the team with 22 points (5 assists), while Kaitlyn Downey had a dominant first half (15 points) and finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds.

George Mason shot 38.6% from the floor, and 30.8% from three, in their first game back in nearly a month.

“Definitely have to get back in shape, make sure we are hitting the open shots and controlling the controllables,” said Amaya Scott. “It’s our first game back. So, it’s not going to be perfect, it’s going to be tough. We are going to be tired, but just keep fighting through.”

The Patriots are back in action on Saturday as they travel to take on Rhode Island. Tip off is at 1pm.