Men's Basketball Drops 81-78 OT Heartbreaker At Rhode Island
Feb. 1, 2012
KINGSTON, R.I. - Paced by Orion Outerbridge's 29 points and 11 rebounds, Rhode Island used clutch free throw shooting in overtime to escape with an 81-78 win over the UMass basketball team on Wendesday evening at the Ryan Center. With the game knotted at 69-69 after regulation, the Rams opened the overtime frame hitting a pair of field goals and closed it going 8-for-10 from the charity stripe.
UMass (16-6, 5-3 A-10) will return to action on Saturday at George Washington with a 7 PM tip-off. Rhode Island improves to 5-18 overall and 2-5 in the Atlantic 10.
After the Rams went up 76-71 in overtime before Freddie Riley drained a deep three pointer to pull UMass within three with 2:11 to play. Putney made it a one-point game, 77-76, with a driving lay-up with 32.3 seconds to go.
The Minutemen again pulled within a point following a pair of free throws from Chaz Williams (12 points, 8 assists) with 10.9 seconds to play. UMass forced a steal on the ensuing inbounds play thanks to a Putney interception at mid-court, but Williams lost the ball in traffic while driving to the basket.
Rhode Island got two more free throws from Nikola Malesvic with 4.3 seconds to go up 81-78 forcing UMass to go the length of the court for the final shot. A Riley three-pointer from the left wing was just wide as the buzzer sounded.
Along with Putney, Sean Carter led UMass with 16 points. Putney narrowly missed his second-straight double-double with eight rebounds.
Malesevic scored 16 points, while Dominique McKoy scored 10 points along with seven rebounds.
UMass led by as many as six in the first half, 11-5, but the Rams fought back to tie the game on four different occasions. Rhode Island used a five-point run in the final 25 seconds of the first half to go into halftime with a 36-32 lead thanks to a Powell three-pointer and a T.J. Buchanan lay-up which he hit just as the buzzer expired.
Putney and Morgan paced the Minutemen with eight each in the first half, but it was Outerbridge who led all players with 15 points the bulk of which came in the opening 10 minutes of play to keep the game neck-and-neck.
URI started the second half strong building a 44-37 lead in the first three minutes, 28 seconds capped by a Billy Baron three-pointer from the right corner. After a UMass time-out, UMass chipped back by attacking the basket.
A pair of free throws followed by a fast break dunk from Carter off a turnover pushed the Minutemen up by three, 49-46, with 12:16 left in the second half.
Maxie Esho closed the 14-2 run with a lay-in with 11:33 to go up 51-46.
Rhode Island fought back over the next nine minutes until finally taking the lead 63-62 with 2:45 left on a Buchanan three pointer from the left wing.
After Carter hit the one of two free throws to tie the game once again, the Rams came back down the court where Malesevic drained another three-pointer from the right-wing to go up 66-63 with 2:16 to play.
A goaltending call on a Williams lay-up gave UMass a short-lived lead as Outerbridge came back to hit a jumper from the free throw line to tie the game once again, 69-69.
UMass had possession without the shot clock, called timeout with 9.1 seconds to go, but a Morgan three-pointer from the right wing was off as time expired forcing the overtime.
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