Sophomore point guard Jamel Perkins hit an off-balance, driving layup with nine seconds left to give George Mason a 77-75, come-from-behind victory over Old Dominion last night at Patriot Center.

The Monarchs couldn't get a shot on their last possession as George Mason won for the first time in eight tries against Old Dominion.

"We're just very excited to win," said Patriots Coach Ernie Nestor. "This is a nonconference game and we haven't done very well in our nonconference schedule," going 3-9.

Perkins's acrobatic drive also allowed George Mason (11-13) to achieve its first four-game winning streak since the 1988-89 season and culminated a comeback in a game in which it trailed by 15 in the first half and by 73-65 with 3:28 to play. The Monarchs were outscored 12-2 the rest of the way.

"The actual play was supposed to go to {Byron} Tucker and back to Mike {Hargett} because he was on," Perkins said. "But {the defender} was playing my right side so I decided to drive. I had to throw it up a little bit because I had a feeling {Chris} Gatling was going to block it."

Hargett had a team-high 27 points on 10-of-29 shooting. Tucker scored 18, including 13 in the second half, when he led the rally.

Gatling, the Sun Belt Conference player of the year last season, led the Monarchs (10-16) with 24 points. Ricardo Leonard, a graduate of Spingarn High, had 20 for Old Dominion, which will join George Mason in the Colonial Athletic Association next year.

Old Dominion led 41-30 at halftime. While the Monarchs continually pounded the ball inside to Leonard and Gatling, the Patriots tried three-pointers.

Niagara 98, Loyola (Md.) 96: In Niagara Falls, N.Y., Brian Clifford scored 26 points and Tony Newsom 21 as the Purple Eagles (7-17, 5-10) beat the Greyhounds (12-12, 5-8) in quadruple overtime in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game. The game was tied 13 times and the lead changed 18 times. Kevin Green had a game-high 31 points for Loyola.

Marist 98, Mount St. Mary's 82: In Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Fred Ingles scored 30 points as the Red Foxes won the Northeast Conference game and broke a five-game losing streak.

Virginia St. 85, Bowie St. 70: The Bulldogs (7-17) shot 32 percent in the second half and let a 43-42 halftime lead slip away at Bowie's James Complex.