FAIRFAX, Va. - Sophomore Erik Copes hit a 13-foot jumper with 0.5 seconds
remaining, capping a George Mason second-half rally as the men's basketball team
defeated William & Mary, 60-58, on Saturday afternoon at the Patriot
Center. The win moves the Patriots' record to 10-6 in Colonial Athletic
Association play and 17-11 overall, while the Tribe dropped to 12-15 (6-10
Copes was one of three double-figure scorers for Mason, as
freshman Patrick Holloway connected on a career-best five 3-pointers to lead
the team with 15 points. Junior Bryon Allen had 14 points while Copes
contributed 10. Marcus Thornton scored 22 points including six 3-pointers to
lead the Tribe.
Mason trailed by as many as 13 points with 11 minutes
remaining in the contest, but the Patriot defense came alive to stifle the
Tribe. Holding the visitors without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes, Mason
mounted a 19-1 run rally which saw them regain the lead at 51-50 on Holloway's
trey with 4:36 left. Mason led by as many as five after a pair of free throws
by Jonathan Arledge with 1:28 showing on the clock, but Thornton's 3-pointer
ended the drought and made it 56-54.
Inside of the final minute, freshman Marko Gujanicic and
Allen each hit one of two at the stripe, but free throws by Thornton made it a
two-point game and Rusthoven found an uncontested layup in the paint to tie the
score at 58. Allen brought the ball inbounds and called timeout in front of the
Patriot bench, and on the ensuing possession, Allen found Copes who sank the
W&M had half a second remaining but a 90-foot pass went
untouched, and the Patriots were able to seal the victory.
In the first half, Mason led by as many as five points with
five minutes to play before Rusthoven gave his squad the halftime lead on a
jumper with just over a minute to play at 30-29. The Tribe shot 48 percent
compared to a 37 percent clip for Mason in the first half, but committed eight
turnovers to just two for the Patriots.
Mason will close out its home slate on Tuesday night as they
host Towson University. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m.