Men's Basketball

Brower's Career Night Leads Minutemen To Thrilling 98-91 Win Over URI

Tony Gaffney and Chris Lowe play tough defense.

Tony Gaffney and Chris Lowe play tough defense.

Feb. 21, 2008

Box Score |  Notes  | Coach Travis Ford's Post-game interview after the URI game  | Chris Lowe, Etienne Brower, & Ricky Harris are interviewed after the URI game  | Bob Behler reviews the highlights from the URI game 

KINGSTON, R.I. - Senior Etienne Brower's career-high 26 points including a game-clinching 3-pointer with 1:04 left in regulation sewed up a 98-91 win for UMass at the Ryan Center on Thursday night. Brower finished off what amounted to a 5-point play as he had previously made two free throws on a breakaway intentional foul with 1:13 left in the game. That five-point swing gave UMass a 92-86 advantage.

The Minutemen (17-9, 6-6 A-10) enhanced their chances of an NCAA Tournament bid by sweeping the Rams on the season, also winning 78-76 at the Mullins Center on Feb. 7. UMass had three players score in double-figures for the third time this season as Gary Forbes added 23 and Chris Lowe netted 21. Lowe had 10 assists for the third game in a row.

Rhode Island (20-7, 6-6) has now last four of its last five games, starting with the defeat in Amherst. The Rams were led by Will Daniels who had 25 points.

The Minutemen made six free throws in the final minute, four by Harris and two by Forbes to ice the win.

UMass took advantage of an intentional foul called on Seawright with 1:13 left as Brower stole the ball from him and the URI big man clobbered Brower as he went in for the lay-up. Brower made both free throws for an 89-86 lead. Then Brower made his fifth 3-pointer of the game with 1:04 remaining to give UMass its largest lead of the second half to that point, at six, 92-86.

The Minutemen took an 87-86 lead on a jumper in the lane by Harris with 1:27 left in regulation.

UMass missed three lay-ups in a row leading to Seawright's lay-up to give Rhode Island an 81-80 lead with 3:33 left. Then URI took a 3-point lead as Parfait Bitee made a jumper in the lane to make it 83-80 with 3:11 left.

Daniels' 3-pointer as the shot clock was expiring put URI up 75-73 with 7:02 remaining, but UMass quickly answered with a Lowe 3-point play on a driving lay-up to take the lead back at 76-75.

Rhode Island took a three-point edge on a Seawright jumper in the paint to make it 72-69 with 8:39 left in the second. But UMass answered with the next two baskets by Forbes and Lowe to retake the lead at 73-72 with 7:44 remaining.

Brower gave UMass a two-point lead at 62-60 with 12:11 left in the second on his fourth 3-pointer of the game.

Both teams got hot from 3-point range early in the second half as each squad made a pair of treys in the first four minutes of play to tie the game at 53-53.

The Rams took a 41-39 lead into halftime on a Marquis Jones' jumper with 30 seconds left in the half. Brower led all scorers with 15 points in the first half. The Minutemen were just 2-of-12 from 3-point land in the first half.

Rhode Island rallied back with its own run of 12-2 to deadlock the game at 32-32 with 4:19 left in the first half. Jones' fastbreak lay-up tied the game for the fourth time in the first 16 minutes.

The Minutemen went on a dramatic 12-0 run midway through the first half to take a 30-20 lead. Brower canned a pair of 3-pointers in the run while Tony Gaffney converted a pair of fastbreak lay-ins which forced Rhode Island coach Jim Baron to call a timeout with 7:41 left in the first half.

UMass went on an 11-4 run over a span of 3:40 to take a 15-14 lead on a fastbreak lay-up by Lowe. The Minutemen hit five shots in a row from the field to move in front after a slow start where UMass hit just 2-of-9.

Rhode Island hit its first three shots of the game for a 6-0 lead just 1:37 into the action.

The Minutemen return home to host St. Bonaventure on Sunday at 2 p.m., at the Mullins Center.




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