Constantly double-teamed and mired in foul trouble, George Mason forward George Evans fought off a tough defense to take charge in overtime and help visiting George Mason (3-4) edge Maryland-Baltimore County, 63-62, tonight in the Conference Challenge at RAC Arena.
Evans finished with a season-low 15 points, but he scored four of the Patriots' seven points in the extra period. He also had two rebounds, a block and a steal. Evans had only nine shots in regulation and 11 overall, but his work in the overtime, despite four fouls, proved crucial.
"I thought he did an outstanding job in [the overtime]," UMBC Coach Tom Sullivan said.
Evans finished with 13 rebounds, four assists and three blocks and made a steal on UMBC's first overtime possession and converted it into a dunk for a 58-56 lead. He then made a soft hook shot. Evans also came up with two key blocks shortly thereafter.
The Retrievers had kept the ball away from Evans throughout much of regulation by using a zone defense that collapsed two and three players on him. However, when George Mason took a late second-half lead, UMBC (3-4) switched to man-to-man, and that made things easier for Evans.
"I told my teammates when they went man-to-man to look for me," Evans said. "We just executed down the stretch."
UMBC missed two chances to win the game. Kennedy Okafor missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer in regulation, and Terence Ward (17 points) saw his driving shot spin out with 2.5 seconds left in overtime.
The Patriots took a 63-60 lead on Rob Anderson's layup with 1 minute 21 seconds left in overtime, but Okafor made two free throws with 46 seconds left. George Mason then ran the clock down, but Keith Holdan threw away a pass with 16 seconds left, setting up Ward's final shot.
The Patriots fared much better from the outside, hitting 9 of 21 three-point attempts. Erik Herring made both of his three-point tries and finished with a team-high 17 points. Ahmad Dorsett hit 3 of 5 three-point shots and scored 11 points.
But George Mason continued to have trouble at point guard. Junior Tremaine Price had four assists but missed all seven shots and had problems running the offense. George Mason Coach Jim Larranaga then moved shooting guard Dorsett to the point for the first time in his career early in the second half.
AMERICAN WOMEN 69, CENTRAL FLORIDA 56: Junior guard Kate Miller scored 21 points and freshman guard Erin Brady added 17 in a nonconference game at Bender Arena. The Eagles, who used a 19-2 first-half run to take control early, improved to 6-2. The Golden Knights, led by Erin Page's 23 points, dropped to 1-4.