Williamson's Three-Pointer Sinks George Mason 54-53
By ODU Athletics
Dec. 7, 2005
NORFOLK, VA-- Junior guard Drew Williamson (Burlington, NC) sank a twenty-seven foot buzzer beater with 0.7 seconds remaining to lift the Old Dominion University Monarchs to a thrilling 54-53 defeat of George Mason Wednesday night in their conference opener at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. ODU won it's fourth straight contest to run their record to 6-1 (1-0) on the season, while the Patriots dropped to 4-3 (1-1). Williamson finished with 10 points along with five rebounds, and played turnover-free basketball.
After George Mason raced out to a 16-10 advantage midway through the first half, the Monarchs roared back with consecutive three-pointers by senior forward Alex Loughton (Perth, Australia),a dunk from sophomore center Sam Harris (Newnham, Australia) and an Isaiah Hunter (Charlotte, NC) lay-up to take a 20-16 lead. ODU would soon take a 23-18 lead with 7:40 left in the first half, before a 9-2 George Mason run that featured two Jai Lewis baskets, and a Tony Skinn trey, would gave the Patriots an advantage they would hold for the next 13:02 of action.
The Monarchs would slowly chip away at the George Mason advantage before finally getting out in front 47-46 with 8:19 left in the game due to two converted free throws from junior forward Arnaud Dahi (Ivory Coast, Africa). Another Skinn three-pointer put the Patriots back on top 49-47, with Old Dominion soon answering back with two free throws from Valdas Vasylius (Klaipedia, Lithuania) and a layup by Williamson to take a 51-49 lead with 4:43 remaining.
Two more lay-ups from Lewis put Mason up 53-51 with 2:58 remaining. A loose ball that landed out of bounds with 4 seconds left was ruled touched last by the Patriots, giving the Monarchs one last chance to win the game. A double screen was set up on the inbounds, leaving Williamson open to take a heave from 27 feet out that was true. "As soon as it left my hand, I knew it was going in," said Williamson after the game. "I felt comfortable taking the shot. That is one of my favorite spots to shoot from."
ODU was led by Loughton who scored a team-high 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Hunter scored 11 points, hauled in four rebounds, and dished out three assists. The Monarchs were out shot by Mason .489% to .322% but won the rebound battle 39-29, and turned the ball over four less times than the Patriots, 11-15.
George Mason was led by Lewis' 15 points and 12 rebounds. Skinn chipped in with 13 points, including 3 treys.
"It's the type of game you are going to see in our league. For us, it was a tremendous victory under the circumstances. We're going to need a little bit of Monarch magic every once in awhile, said Head Coach Blaine Taylor."
ODU returns to action Saturday as they travel to Drexel for their conference road opener. The contest will be broadcast at 3:00 p.m on the local WSKY channel.