Senior guard Tony Byles made two free throws with no time remaining to give visiting East Carolina a 66-64 victory over George Mason last night.
The Patriots (3-5) had tied the game at 64 on two free throws by sophomore guard Andy Bolden with 13 seconds remaining.
The Patriots called time after the Bolden shots to arrange pressure as the ball was inbounded, but East Carolina (3-5) got the ball to Byles, who moved it up court. With four seconds left, Charles Green drove the lane and put up a 10-footer. A scramble for the rebound followed and Bolden was called for reaching in on Byles as time expired.
As 2,150 fans attempted to distract him, Byles made the shots that allowed his team to snap a three-game losing streak.
"The (scoreboard) said the time had run out. I thought the buzzer had sounded," said Patriot Coach Joe Harrington, whose team lost its third straight game. "I'll have to get a look at the film."
Both teams were guilty of poor free-throw shooting in the second half. East Carolina had a 60-54 lead with less than five minutes left, but missed six straight free throws.
George Mason center Andre Gaddy was the game's leading scorer with 21 points, 12 of those coming during a first half that ended in a 36-36 tie after each team had led by eight points. Freshman Carlos Yates added 15 for the Patriots.
Byles led East Carolina with 16, followed by Morris Hargrove and Green with 11 each.