The dramatic contest came in the deciding game of the best-of-three showdown with Santa Clara posting the only road victory of the College Basketball Invitational championship series.
Foster scored 24 points to lead Santa Clara and he went to the line in the closing seconds with a chance to put away the game. He could make only 1-of-2 foul shots, however, giving George Mason a chance to force overtime.
Patrick Holloway missed that chance for the Patriots.
Marc Trasolini added 21 points for Santa Clara (26-12). George Mason (22-16) was led by Sherrod Wright with 24 points.
Both teams wound up fourth in their league during the regular season -- Santa Clara in the West Coast Conference and George Mason in the Colonial Athletic Association.