WASHINGTON (WDVM) – In the revolutionary rivalry in recent years, the George Mason men’s basketball team has had George Washington’s number. Entering Monday, Mason had won six of the last eight and the last two last season.

In a game full of highlight reel moments on Monday, that came down to the final seconds, the Colonials prevailed, 77-76.

“Well you always need affirmation for what you’re doing, you know that the work that you’re putting in, you always need a level of affirmation to confirm improvement,” George Washington head coach Jamion Christian said. “And so I think today illustrates improvement. Hadn’t had a game like this where we had to win in the last second, you know, all season long. So this is a huge opportunity for us as a team.”

Both teams entered their matchup on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in unique situations, George Washington (5-10 overall, 1-2 Atlantic 10) missing three starters due to non-COVID related injuries, and George Mason (7-7, 0-1 A10) playing its first game since January 1 because of a COVID related pause.

The Colonials controlled the first half, leading by four at the break. The game turned to runs in the second half, but George Mason led 72-59, with just under six minutes remaining.

Led by a 26 point performance by sophomore guard Joe Bamisile, the Colonials went on a 16-2 run in the final minutes to take the lead. After a response from Mason, Bamisile scored a layup in the final seconds to regain the lead. After a stop and running the last two seconds off the clock, the Colonials earned just their fifth win of the season, and their first in more than a month.

“You gotta respect us every game,” Bamisile said, noting that this game was not an upset in his opinion. “I think when you have a losing record, it’s really easy to come play a team and think they’re just gonna lay down and die. But we’re fighting every game.”

George Washington will look to build on its momentum Wednesday at Saint Joseph’s. George Mason will host Dayton on Saturday.