Carlos Yates' short baseline jumper rolled out at the buzzer last night and George Mason fell to William and Mary, 47-46, in an ECAC South basketball game before 2,800 at Mason.
Mason (6-4, 1-1) is 0-8 lifetime against the defense-oriented Indians (4-4, 1-0). The home team blew a 10-point second-half lead, but got a near game-saving break in the final seconds. Mike Strayhorn, who did a fine job defensing Yates, threw away an inbounds pass with five seconds left and William and Mary holding a one-point lead.
"We got the ball back and I got the shot I wanted," said a disappointed Yates, who was the nation's fifth-leading scorer, with a 26.7 average, coming into last night's game. "He (Strayhorn) did a good job on me. They wore me down with some bumping and pushing all night, but I had a chance at the end to hit the shot. It was a good shot; it just didn't fall."
Yates, who made only five of 14 field goals to finish with 15 points, scored his team's final six points, including a short, turnaround jumper for a three-point Mason lead, 46-43, with 2:19 to play.
Forward Tony Traver of the Indians made a followup shot to cut the deficit to a point, 46-45, with 1:35 to play.
Mason freshman Ricky Wilson, starting in place of Andy Bolden, who along with Ricky Dillard was declared academically ineligible this semester, missed a shot on a baseline drive and the Indians came away with the rebound with just under a minute to play.
"Nothing we did out there was very pretty," said Indians Coach Bruce Parkhill. "The only way we got away was with hustle. For a while, it looked like it wasn't to be."
The Indians worked for a good shot, missing two attempts before Kevin Richardson was fouled on a layup try. He made both shots and William and Mary led, 47-46, with 13 seconds to play.
Mason rushed the ball up court and John Niehoff's pass to Yates was too hard and went out of bounds.
But Mason got the break that might have won it the game when Rob Rose intercepted Strayhorn's inbounds pass at midcourt.