Catholic University's second straight effort to lull an opponent to sleep failed last night as William and Mary defeated the Cardinals, 36-29, in an ECAC South game at Brookland Gym.

The Cardinals (3-10) were coming off Saturday's 38-37 triple-overtime upset of Colgate in which they ran a spread offense, holding the ball and shooting sparingly.

Using that strategy again, CU trailed, 18-14 at halftime. Four straight turnovers at the start of the second half helped the Indians (8-3) build a 22-14 lead with 15:57 remaining. Catholic never recovered.

CU led, 14-10, with 5:15 left in the first period. The Cardinals shot seven for 10 up to that point and had William and Mary, also a patient team, on the ropes. But guard Geoff Mack, a good ball handler and a key to the CU slowdown, was taken out with 3:41 to go because he was exhausted, according to CU Coach Jack Kvancz.

Catholic immediately collapsed, losing the ball three straight times as the Indians ran off six points. Reserve guard Tony Traver helped W&M in the first half with three baskets in the 18- to 21-foot range.

Sophomore forward Mike Strayhorn had 12 points for the Indians, who won their fifth straight and lead the ECAC South. Senior guard Joe Colletta had 11 points for CU.