Men's Basketball

Harris Scores With 2.9 Left To Lift UMass Over Fordham, 78-76

Anthony Gurley had 15 points and five boards Wednesday

Anthony Gurley had 15 points and five boards Wednesday

Jan. 6, 2010

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AMHERST, Mass. - Ricky Harris banked home a jumper with 2.9 seconds remaining in regulation to lead UMass past Fordham 78-76 on Wednesday night at the Mullins Center. Fordham erased a 13 point UMass lead before Harris hit the game-winning bucket. Brenton Butler led all scorers with 31 points to go along with six assists.

Harris had 21 points and six assists on the night, moving up to seventh place on the UMass all-time scoring list, passing Donald Russell. Anthony Gurley had 15 points to go along with five rebounds, while Hashim Bailey pulled down a career high 13 boards and tied a career high with nine points.

UMass led by five when Chris Gaston (16 points, 14 rebounds) scored and was fouled with 40 seconds left. He missed the free throw allowing the Rams to come up with the rebound and Gaston hit a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left, tying the game at 76. The Minutemen held for the final shot before Harris drove, pulling up at the free throw line and banking in a jumpshot with 2.9 seconds left. The senior guard then came up with a steal as the horn sounded, securing the victory.

The Minutemen jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead, but the Rams came charging back with a 13-2 run over 4:34 that gave them a 13-8 lead just over six minutes into the game. UMass took the lead back at the 8:11 mark on a 3-point play by Bailey that was part of a 10-0 Minutemen run in which they held the Rams scoreless for a span of 3:27 to take a 29-23 lead with 6:46 left in the half. The UMass lead reached as much as eight before the teams went to the locker rooms with the Minutemen leading, 40-34.

Gurley led the Minutemen in the first half with 10 points, six of which came at the charity stripe. Butler paced the Rams in the opening 20 minutes with 12 points. Fordham shot 39.5 percent, while UMass shot 35.9 percent and held the edge on the glass, 28-23.

Just under four minutes into the second half, Harris scored five straight points to give UMass the first double-digit lead by either side, 52-42. The lead reached as much 13, 62-49, on a Bailey layup at the 10:28 mark.

Butler then started a 16-3 Fordham run in which he scored 11 points including three 3-pointers to erase the UMass lead and tie the game at the 7:15 mark, 65-65.

A 3-point play by Harris followed by a 3-pointer from Freddie Riley, in his first game back from a knee injury, quickly put the Minutemen back up by six, 71-65, with 5:27 to go.

Fordham began to foul as the clock went under two minutes, but the Minutemen made the front end only of three straight trips to the free throw line.

The Minutemen return to action on Sunday when they host La Salle at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Opening tip is slated for 2 p.m.




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