George Mason failed to score in the final 4:35, allowing a 13-point lead to evaporate to just one as it slipped past East Carolina, 70-69, last night in a Colonial Athletic Association game before 2,069 at Patriot Center.
The Patriots' last basket came on a jumper by Brian Miller, giving them a 70-57 lead. But George Mason turned the ball over four times and missed the first shot in four one-and-ones on its next eight possessions.
East Carolina, meanwhile, scored 12 straight points, closing to within 70-69 on William Grady's breakaway dunk off a steal with 19 seconds left.
Following Rob Rose's missed free throw attempt two seconds later, the Pirates worked the ball down court and got off outside shots by Grady and Scott Hardy, but both hit off the front of the rim.
"I have to give East Carolina credit," said George Mason Coach Joe Harrington. "They hung tough, but it just wasn't meant to be for them tonight."
Ricky Wilson scored 23 points to help George Mason improve its record to 16-10, 10-4 in the CAA. Kenny Sanders and Earl Moore had 15 and 12 points, respectively.
East Carolina (12-14, 6-7), which beat George Mason, 75-67, earlier this season, was led by Marchell Henry with 20 points.
Moore, the heir apparent to Ricky Wilson at point guard, put together one of his more impressive performances of the season to lead George Mason to a 38-35 lead at the half.
Moore, a freshman whose turnover ratio has rivaled his assist percentage this year, scored 12 points on six-for-seven shooting from the field, stole the ball twice and even blocked a shot. More importantly, Moore gave his team breathing space at the half, turning what could have been a one-point deficit into a three-point lead when he stole the ball from Hardy and dribbled the length of the court for a layin with three seconds to play.
Wilson, who was honored along with fellow graduating seniors Rose, Vince McQueen and Warren Green in a pregame ceremony, added 10 points. St. Bonaventure 77, George Washington 59
Forward Barry Mungar scored a game-high 26 points and had nine rebounds to lead the Bonnies in an Atlantic 10 game in Olean, N.Y.
George Washington Coach John Kuester was ejected midway in the second half after receiving his third technical foul.
The Colonials finished the regular season 12-15 overall and 7-11 in the Atlantic 10. The sixth-place finish gives GW a bye in the first round of the conference tournament, which begins Tuesday. The Colonials will play at Temple Thursday at 7 p.m. The Bonnies finished 15-12 and 10-8, good for fourth place, and will play host to Duquesne Thursday at 7:30. North Carolina A&T 75, Howard 62
Claude Williams led four players in double figures with a game-high 25 points as the Aggies rolled to an easy Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victory before a sellout crowd of 7,500 at Corbett Sports Center in Greensboro, N.C.
The Aggies (18-7, 10-2 in the MEAC) opened a 43-28 halftime lead and never trailed in posting their 11th straight victory.
Howard (17-7, 10-1) shot a season-low 36 percent from the field. The Bison were led by Fred Hill with 12 points and Mike Jones with 11. UDC 80, Point Park 68
Senior forward Johnny (D.C.) Jones scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half to lead the Firebirds (15-8) over the visiting Pioneers. Washington Bible 70, Berkshire Christian 66
Ed Fontaine scored 18 points to lead the Cougars (7-18) over the visiting Warriors (3-20) at Wagner Center. Gallaudet 76, St. Mary's 62
Alan Fisher scored 19 points and David Hamilton had 18 as the Bison (15-12) won at St. Mary's Field House in the consolation round of the Capital City Classic tournament.