ATLANTA-Georgia State fell to William and Mary, 59-56, Saturday at the GSU Sports Arena as Marcus Kitts' layup with 27 seconds left provided the winning points.
Trae Goldston led Georgia State (10-15, 4-9 CAA) with 15 points before a season-best, Homecoming crowd of 2,347. The senior from Atlanta had a three-point try from the corner with 11 seconds left that would have given the Panthers the lead but could not get the shot to go down.
Quinn McDowell, who led William and Mary (16-7, 8-5 CAA) with 17 points, then sank a pair of free throws nine seconds to go for the three-point margin before Marques Johnson got off a final three-point try for the Panthers.
Georgia State led the entire second half, taking a 44-49 lead on a layup by Joe Dukes with 3:13 to play. But Sean McCurdy quickly answered with a three-pointer to cut the Panthers' advantage in half. After a GSU miss, David Schneider made one of two free throws to make it 55-53 with 2:25 on the clock.
Ousman Krubally grabbed an offensive rebound for GSU but missed the front end of a one-and-one, and McDowell tied the game at 55-all with a pair of free throws with 1:31 left.
Krubally garnered another offensive rebound for the Panthers, and Dukes made one of two free throws for a one-point advantage with 51 seconds on the clock.
"It's a very disappointing loss, especially in front of such a tremendous Homecoming crowd," said GSU head coach Rod Barnes.
"We executed really well in the first half and made shots; in the second half we were getting a lot of the same looks but we didn't shoot as well and as a result we weren't able to put the game away.
"Give William and Mary credit," continued Barnes. "Their kids hung in there when they were behind, and they made some big shots when they needed to make them. I thought our kids gave good effort, we just didn't make the plays we needed to make down the stretch."
William and Mary, the top three-point shooting team in the Colonial Athletic Association and one of the best in the nation, managed just 38 percent from the field and just seven-for-24 from beyond the arc, but had four starters score in double figures. David Schneider had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Kitts and McCurdy added 10 points each.
The Panthers shot 52 percent in the first half to take a 34-26 lead into the intermission, but dipped to 32 percent in the second half. Georgia State build its advantage to nine points at 42-33on a three-point play by Krubally with 14 minutes to go, but McDowell answered with a three-pointer and Georgia State led by no more than six the rest of the way.
Dukes scored just nine points for the Panthers but contributed seven assists, five rebounds and two steals. Krubally finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, and Xavier Hansbro added nine points and eight boards.
Georgia State now heads on the road for two games next week, beginning Wednesday at first-place Northeastern.
NOTING THE PANTHERS: With 15 points, Trae Goldston raised his career total to 988 points and moved into 16th place on the Georgia State career scoring list ... The Panthers committed a season-low seven turnovers ... Each of Georgia State's last three Homecoming games has come down to a final shot; the Panthers won the previous two on last-second three-pointers by Goldston (over UNC Wilmington in 2009 and Northeastern in 2008) ... The last five games between Georgia State and William and Mary have been decided by a total of 15 points.