George Mason won its second game this season and 17th in a row at home, but there was an upset coach in the 87-78 victory over Millersville last night: the winning coach.
What unnerved Patriots Coach Joe Harrington was that one of the Millersville assistants strayed from the newly instituted coaches box following the controversial call of a two-shot intentional foul against George Mason with 6:57 to play.
Then Harrington's team seemingly grew unnerved. Millersville, trying to avoid its first loss in six games, made two field goals following the call and pulled within four points with 5:51 remaining in the game.
So Harrington called time.
"We got a coaches box, and their assistant leaves it," Harrington said. "And they (the referees) don't have the nerve to call anything.
"I don't like the coaching box. I think officials should control the bench. A technical would do it."
If Harrington was hot, his team was cold.
But following the timeout, Mason scored seven straight points and moved ahead by 11. After that, the Patriots scored six more to Millersville's two, running the lead to 15 with 2:23 remaining and all but ensuring defeat for Coach John Kochan's team.
Carlos Yates scored 30 points and had 13 rebounds for George Mason.
"Carlos really came through for us," Harrington said. "When it had to be done, he did it. Our big baskets were scored by Yates."
Yates was five of eight from the field and had 13 points at the half. However, his biggest baskets came in the second half. When Ricky Wilson, who scored 21 points for Mason, cooled off early in the second half and forward Rob Rose got into foul trouble, the supporting cast looked to Yates.
Yates made two straight jump shots and a free throw to put Mason up, 43-40, with 16:22 to play. Two more field goals by Yates provided five-point advantages for the Patriots with 14:05 and 13:25 remaining.
Millersville scored six straight points to close to 55-52, with a layup and two free throws by 6-foot-8 John Fox (13 rebounds) and two free throws by Rob Laughton (23 points).
Yates scored four straight points from the line to stretch the Mason lead to 59-52 with 8:24 remaining.