Bobby Jo Springer, who had a tooth knocked out in pregame warmups, scored 22 of his career-high 27 points in the second half last night as North Carolina-Wilmington wore down American, 74-56, in a Colonial Athletic Association basketball game at Fort Myer.

Springer, a 6-foot-1 junior point guard, made eight of nine from the floor in helping the Seahawks (13-9 overall, 4-5 in the CAA) hand American its eighth straight defeat.

The last time the Eagles (7-13, 1-8) lost eight straight was 1968-69.

Springer, who came into the game averaging 14.4 points, lost his front tooth when he and an American player accidentally collided near midcourt. He took control in the final eight minutes of the game, scoring 13 points after Eric White's basket had brought American within five, 47-42, with 8:45 left.

"If he can play like that, maybe I'll knock out another tooth before the next game," said Seahawks Coach Mel Gibson, whose team lost to American, 76-69, on Jan. 6.

American, although having trouble with 6-9 Brian Rowsom (16 points, 13 rebounds) and 6-5 Charles Cherry (16 points, eight rebounds), stayed close until the Seahawks concentrated on stopping guard Frank Ross (20 points).

"Ross scored 28 points against us last time and he is too good a player to let him do that again," said Gibson. "We went to a box-and-one . . . . We had to force other people to shoot the ball, and they were not as proficient tonight as he is."

The Eagles shot 36 percent from the floor, missing numerous opportunities inside. "We got layups and look how many we missed," said American Coach Ed Tapscott. "If you run an offense and get layups, what more can you ask?" George Mason 69, William and Mary 46

Senior Rob Rose had a game-high 21 points and game-high 12 rebounds to help the Patriots win for the first time in seven tries at Williamsburg in a Colonial Athletic Association game in front of 2,588.

Mason (12-9, 6-3) led at halftime, 33-22, on the strength of 11 points from Rose and eight each from freshman Earl Moore and senior Ricky Wilson. The Patriots' full-court man-to-man press forced the Indians (5-15, 1-8) into 12 first-half turnovers.

William and Mary came no closer than six points in the second half. George Mason built the margin to 22 points at 60-38 on a layup by Brian Miller with 4:01 to play. Catholic 69, Gettysburg 60

Junior guard Rob McCarry scored 18 points to lead the visiting Cardinals (15-6) over the Bullets (2-17) at Hembream Gym. Freshman forward Kevin Morrison added 13 points and 11 rebounds as Catholic won its 13th straight.