Minutemen Beat Xavier In Triple Overtime Thriller, 90-86
Jan. 8, 2005
AMHERST, Mass. - Freshman Jeff Salovski (Bristol, Conn.) poured in a career-high 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting as UMass battled Xavier to a three-overtime 90-86 win on Saturday in the Mullins Center. The game was UMass' first triple-overtime contest since Feb. 11, 1990 at the Cage. It was also the first time in five tries that the Minutemen were victorious against the Musketeers, the defending Atlantic 10 Champions.
In the longest game in nearly 15 years, Salovski carried the Minutemen (7-5, 1-1 A-10) in the overtime periods, especially the third where he had eight points and three rebounds.
His free throw with 14 seconds remaining in the third overtime period put UMass up 89-86 after Xavier (6-5, 0-1 A-10) had cut the lead to two points. That shot allowed sophomore Maurice Maxwell (Philadelphia, Pa.) to ice the game with his free throw to give the final margin.
Five players for Massachusetts reached double-figures in the first triple-overtime game in the history of the Mullins Center. Salovski led all scorers followed by Maxwell's 16 points.
Senior Anthony Anderson scored 14 points to push his career total to 1,102 points including a three-pointer at the 3:39 mark of the third OT to give the Minutemen an 81-80 lead - one which they did not relinquish.
The game featured 14 scoring ties and 10 lead changes.
In addition to his 16 points, Maxwell's 10 assists were a career-high and the most by and UMass player in the last two seasons. He added nine rebounds to narrowly miss a triple double - the last triple-double being recorded by Al Skinner in 1973.
Justin Doellman, Dedrick Finn, and Stanley Burrell each scored 16 points in the game to lead Xavier. Justin Cage added 15 points and Brian Thornton chipped in 10 points. Doellman recorded 10 rebounds as well for a double-double.
Both teams shot well in the game as UMass hit 50.7 percent of its shots and Xavier hit 44.8 percent.
After trailing by five points with 15:37 remaining in the second half, UMass went on an 11-4 run culminated by a Salovski lay-up giving UMass a 49-47 lead at the 11:15 mark.
A running jumper by Xavier's Dedrick Finn put the Musketeers up four (60-56) before Maxwell hit a jumper and Salovski tipped in a missed shot to tie the game with 1:17 remaining in regulation.
Maxwell and Cage each miss jump shots in the waning seconds and the teams went into the overtime periods deadlocked at 60-60.
Maxwell hit two free throws in the second overtime period with eight seconds remaining to give the Minutemen a 72-69 lead. The Musketeers stayed composed, however, and Finn drilled a trey from the right wing with one-second on the clock to tie the game at 72-72 to force the third overtime. Anderson's desperation heave from the Xavier three-point line fell just a half-inch short glancing off the front of the UMass rim as time expired.
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