Of the last 10 games between William and Mary and George Mason, four have been decided by a point. So when William and Mary, riding a three-game winning streak, battled back to take a three-point lead at the 16-minute mark, one could understand the concern on the face of Patriots Coach Rick Barnes.

But Barnes' concern quickly disappeared as the Patriots combined 70 percent field goal shooting with a tenacious defensive effort for the remainder of the contest to defeat the Indians, 82-69, in a Colonial Athletic Association game last night before 3,269 at Patriot Center.

George Mason sank 16 of 23 field goal tries, five of five from three-point range, and held the visitors to only nine field goals, four of them three-pointers by Jimmy Apple (18 points) for the final 16 minutes as it won its sixth game in seven tries here. Now 9-6 overall and 2-2 in the conference, the Patriots got solid efforts from Earl Moore (15 points), Brian Miller (17) and Amp Davis (17).

Patriots forward Ken Sanders, the conference's leading scorer and rebounder, sat out last week's 92-83 win over Liberty because of a curfew infraction. He returned to the starting lineup to contribute 14 points and 10 rebounds. Steve Smith had 10 points, giving the hosts five players in double figures.

"We were in a mental slump coming off vacation. We had a lot careless turnovers in the first half and William and Mary did a good job on defense," Barnes said. "In the second half, we felt we needed to establish an inside game. We broke it open on our transition game."

To the Indians' credit, they did a good job keeping the running Patriots from getting their fast break started. But after a three-pointer from Greg Burzell pushed the Indians (5-10, 2-2) ahead, 40-37, the Patriots ran off a 15-0 spurt to all but put this one away.

Davis, who had 15 points after intermission to go with his seven assists, opened the run with a three-pointer to tie the game at 40 with 16:19 to play. Smith followed with another three-pointer. Robert Dykes sank two free throws and Sanders scored inside. Miller then hit another three-pointer to make it 50-40.

Sanders scored again off a nice pass from Miller and Davis sank another jumper before the Indians finally broke their five-minute drought on Apple's three-pointer. But the Patriots were ahead, 54-43, with 10:05 to play.

"When we had the lead we had a lot of confidence going but when Miller hit that shot {a three-pointer and foul shot at the end of the half to tie the game at 33-33}, it gave them some momentum," said Indians Coach Chuck Swenson. "George Mason got a lot of defensive rebounds and we didn't get any second shot opportunities in the second half."

Apple's shooting pulled the visitors close at 62-56, with just under seven minutes to play. But Davis threw a cramp in the Indians' plans with a three-pointer. After an Indians turnover, Moore scored off a break and the Patriot lead was 11, 67-56, with 5:58 to play.

James Madison 58, Richmond 54:

Anthony Cooley scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to help host James Madison (6-9, 2-2) to a Colonial Athletic Association victory over Richmond (12-3, 3-1), breaking the Spiders' five-game winning streak.

Mont.-Germantown 93, Anne Arundel 70:

Chris Doneski scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Montgomery-Germantown to the easy victory.

Montgomery (9-5, 6-2 in National Juco Conference) held a 46-20 halftime lead.