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Buzzer Beater Snaps Tribe Winning Streak at Mason
Updated: Wednesday 02/23/2013 (ET)
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FAIRFAX, Va. - The William and Mary men's basketball team had its three-game winning streak snapped, 60-58, on a buzzer-beating jumper from George Mason's Erik Copes on Saturday afternoon at the Patriot Center. The Tribe led by as many as 13 in the second half, but Mason rallied behind a 19-1 run before Copes' game-winning basket with 0.5 seconds remaining. The Tribe fell to 12-15 overall and 6-10 in CAA, while Mason improved to 17-11 on the year and 10-6 in league action.

Sophomore Marcus Thornton led the Green and Gold, pouring in a game-high 22 points on a 6-of-12 effort from 3-point range. Junior Tim Rusthoven finished with 10 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, while juniors Brandon Britt and Kyle Gaillard each chipped in seven points apiece. Gaillard led the Tribe with seven rebounds, while adding two blocked shots.

Leading by one at the half, the Tribe came out of the gates roaring in the second. W&M score nine of first 12 points of the second 20 minutes to push its advantage to seven. Thornton knocked down a 3-pointer, while the Tribe hit six free throws, including two from Gaillard at the 16:14 mark to extend the lead to 39-32.

After Patrick Holloway hit a 3-pointer to close the gap to six, Thornton answered with a triple to start a 7-0 Tribe spurt. A Brandon Britt 3-pointer from the right side off a Terry Tarpey offensive rebound at the 11:14 mark extended the Tribe cushion to its largest at 50-37.

Mason clawed its way back into the contest with a run of its own. The Patriots scored 14 straight points to take the lead. Holloway highlighted the run with a pair of 3-pointers, including a triple with 4:36 remaining to put Mason on top, 51-50.

After a Brandon Britt free throw briefly tied the game at 51, Mason scored five straight points to equal its largest lead of the contest. It total, Mason used a 19-1 run to erase W&M's 13-point advantage. After a pair of Jonathan Arledge free throws with 1:28 remaining gave Mason a 56-51 lead, Thorton broke the Tribe's near 10-mintue stretch without a field goal, canning a triple to pull the Tribe within two just 11 seconds later.

Thornton's free throws with 29 seconds remaining in the contest dwindled the Patriot margin to just one, 57-56. With the shot clock off, the Tribe was forced to foul, sending Byron Allen to the free throw line. He hit 1-of-2, giving Mason a 58-56 advantage with just 27 ticks left on the clock. On the ensuing Tribe possession, Thornton found a wide-open Tim Rusthoven on the block for a lay-up, tying the contest.

Following a timeout to set up its final play with 10.3 seconds remaining, Allen found Copes along the left side for a 13-foot jumper with 0.5 seconds remaining, sending the Mason faith into a celebration and giving the home side the lead for good. The Tribe's last-ditch long-pass chance for Rusthoven sailed out of bounds, and Mason escaped with a 60-58 home victory.

The Tribe knocked down double-digit 3-pointers for the fourth straight contest, hitting 11-of-28 (39.3 percent) from long range, but shot just 37.5 percent (18-of-48) from the field. The Patriots finished the afternoon at 36.7 percent (22-of-60) from the floor and held a slim, 40-39, advantage on the glass.

After a back-and-forth opening 10 minutes with neither team taking more than a three-point advantage, the Patriots opened up its largest lead of the first half. Buckets from Marko Gujanicic and Arledge gave Mason a 22-17 advantage at the 6:25 mark. The Patriot cushion was again five, 27-22, before W&M scored eight of the final 10 points of the first half to take the lead into the locker room. Junior Julian Boatner and Thornton sandwiched a pair of threes around a Mason bucket, before a Rusthoven jump hook with 1:02 left sent W&M to the intermission with a 30-29 advantage.

Freshman Patrick Holloway led Mason in scoring with 15 points on 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Junior Byron Allen finished with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Erik Copes scored 10 points to go with with six rebounds, while junior Jonathan Arledge pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and added eight points.

The Tribe returns to action when it travels to UNCW on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The contest is slated for a 7 p.m. start time at Trask Coliseum. Fans can catch the action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley and Charlie Woollum on the call. Tribe fans that have purchased the Tribe Athletics TV package will be able to watch the Seahawk Vision broadcast of the game at no additional charge, otherwise the cost of the stream is $4.95.

The Chesapeake Bank Tony Shaver Show returns on Monday, Feb. 25, at Buffalo Wild Wings in New Town. The show begins on-site at 6:30 p.m. with the live interview airing from 7-7:30 p.m. Longtime Tribe play-by-play announcer Jay Colley will host the broadcast from Buffalo Wild Wings at 4918 Courthouse Street. Hometown Radio is excited to about its new partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings as part of the weekly show. Each week, a local organization will participate in a profit share with Buffalo Wild Wings receiving 10 percent of sales from the Williamsburg and Newport News locations as a donation. The official designated beneficiary for Monday, Feb. 25, is The Heritage Humane Society. Fans that bring the 'event ticket' all day on Monday to either the Williamsburg or Newport News Buffalo Wild Wings locations will help to benefit the Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg. Click HERE for the 'Event Ticket' for the Feb. 25 show.

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