Minutemen Pull Off Last Second 70-69 Thriller Over Saint Joseph's
Feb. 22, 2009
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Chris Lowe hit two clutch free throws with only two seconds remaining in regulation to give UMass a thrilling 70-69 win over Saint Joseph's at the Palestra on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks nearly completed an improbable comeback with four points in the span of five seconds, but Lowe responded with his 12th and 13th points of the game to hand Saint Joseph's its fourth straight loss. Tony Gaffney paced the Minutemen with 17 points and 10 rebounds, his 10th career double-double. The Minutemen improve to 10-15 on the season, 5-7 in the A-10, while Saint Joseph's stands at 14-12, 7-5 in conference play.
UMass shot 50 percent from the field (26-for-52) and Saint Joseph's shot 46 percent (28-for-61). The Minutemen hit 40 percent of their 3's (8-of-20) while Saint Joseph's was 0-for-7, the first time that UMass held its opponent without a made 3-pointer since Feb. 22, 2000 against Rhode Island.
Lowe added 13 points and seven assists while Ricky Harris netted 11. Ahmad Nivans paced Saint Joseph's with 21 points.
Luke Bonner's only 3-pointer of the afternoon gave UMass its first lead of the second half at 66-65 with only 48 seconds remaining in the contest.
After Bonner knocked down two free throws, Saint Joseph's Garrett Williamson hit two of his own to cut the UMass lead to 68-67 with 11 seconds to go. Nivans then came up with a steal to set up Tasheed Carr, who hit both free throws with six seconds remaining on the clock.
Off the ensuing inbounds, Lowe went coast-to-coast to draw the foul and set up his heroics.
Carr's layup with 18:23 remaining in the second half gave Saint Joseph's a 40-38 advantage, its first lead since 11-9. The Hawks went on to stage a 12-2 run to open up their largest lead of the game, 48-40. The Minutemen responded with five consecutive to pull right back to within three. Matt Glass' 3-pointer that made it 48-43 ended a UMass field goal drought that spanned 6:50.
Two Gaffney baskets and a Lowe layup led a 6-0 charge to tie the score at 51, the first tie since 38-38.
Harris' second 3-pointer tied the score at 59 with six minutes remaining in the second half.
UMass shot 60 percent (15-of-25) from the floor in the first half while Saint Joseph's was 50 percent (15-for-30). Seven Minutemen had five points or more led by Gaffney and Anthony Gurley with seven.
The Minutemen broke a 14-14 deadlock with a 7-0 run to open up their largest lead of the game at 21-14 with 10:22 remaining in the half. David Gibbs scored all five of his points in that span to spark the run capped off by a Gurley layup. The Hawks answered with a 9-2 run to tie the score at 23, the fifth of 14 ties in the game.
UMass returns home on Wednesday to host Duquesne at 7 p.m.
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