Maine's basketball team yesterday caught George Mason still celebrating Thursday night's big victory over American University, defeating the Patriots, 91-78, in Fairfax.

"I think we had a letdown. They caught us at the right time," said Coach Joe Harrington. "We came out flat and we couldn't regroup."

Maine (8-8) used an active 2-1-2 zone defense effectively.

George Mason's Carlos Yates, third-leading scorer in Division I, scored 31 points, but was only 11 of 31 from the floor.

He now has scored 163 points in his last five games.

Rob Rose and John Niehoff had 11 each for the Patriots, who shot 45 percent.

It was only the second loss at home this season for the Patriots (10-7).

The Patriots were able to contain Jeff Cross, averaging 20 points a game, holding him to only six points.

But five Maine teammates scored in double figures, led by John Sims' 19. Reserve Clay Pickering scored 18, including 16 in the first half.

George Mason played even for the first 8 1/2 minutes, but a 10-1 Maine spurt made it 26-17, and the Patriots never got closer than seven the rest of the half. A layup by Paul Cook with six seconds left gave Maine a 46-34 lead, its biggest of the half.

Yates, who had 17 points in the first half, scored the first six of the second half, cutting George Mason's deficit to 46-40. But Maine came back, led by Sims who had six in an 8-1 spurt, and never was seriously threatened the rest of the game.

Fairleigh Dickinson-Madison 87, Catholic 52: The visitors scored the first 14 points of the second half to take a 59-29 lead. Guard Anthony Minnick hit nine of 10 shots and seven of seven free throws for 25 points.

Teammate Dan Liedman had 18 points and added nine rebounds.

Catholic was led by Luke D'Alessio (14 points) and Darren Heath (13).

Washington Bible 60, NE Bible 58: Washington overcame a 45-30 deficit with 4:51 left in regulation and went on to win in double overtime at Essex Fells, N.J. Tim Webster got the winning basket with 11 seconds remaining. Washington Bible is 7-10 and Northeastern is 3-13. Steve Salvas had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Washington. Bill Kollbocker led Northeastern with 23 points.

American 98, UMass.-Boston 73: Mark Nickens scored 14 of his game-high 24 points in the second half and Juan Jones 12 of his 16 as American pulled away from a four-point advantage to win in Boston.

American is 10-7 and Division III UMass.-Boston is 12-5.

American, which shot 58 percent, used all 15 players and 13 scored.

UMass.-Boston guard John (Boo) Rice scored 19 points and helped bring his team within two points twice, at 44-42 and at 52-50, early in the second half.

But 13 minutes into the half American began pulling away as three UMass.-Boston starters fouled out in the next three minutes.

Taller American was able to dominate the inside and use its substitutes freely near the end of the game.