The University of Maine spoiled George Mason Coach Joe Harrington's return to his home state today by taking an 88-78 basketball victory.
Harrington, a native of Bath, Maine, never had coached a college game in his home state before today. He might not want to again, after the home team went to the foul line 48 times.
The Patriots led, 62-61, on the second of two straight jump shots by Mike Yohe with six minutes to play. Maine then outscored the Patriots, 18-4, over the next 5:30 to lead, 79-66.
George Mason is 8-8; the victory was only the sixth for Maine in 17 games. Carlos Yates had 20 points and Rob Rose 19 for George Mason.
Jim Boylen had 20, Rich Henry 18, Jeff Topliff 15, T.J. Forester 13 and Jeff Wheeler 12 for Maine, which made 34 of the 48 free throws; George Mason was 16 of 22.
Two free throws by Topliff with 5:33 to play started the 18-4 run for the Black Bears. That made it 63-62 and Forester followed with a field goal to put Maine ahead by three.
A follow shot by Vince McQueen cut the Patriots' deficit to 65-64 with 4:28 left. Two field goals by Henry made it 69-64 before Yates answered wth a field goal with 2:56 left. Maine then scored 10 straight points to put the game away. Eight points came on free throws, one following a technical foul on Harrington.
George Mason never got closer than eight the rest of the way.
It was Harrington's second loss to Maine. The Black Bears also defeated the Patriots in Fairfax, 91-78, two years ago. George Mason has lost three of its last four and plays at Navy in an ECAC South game on Thursday night.