UMass Secures No. 3 Seed With 67-63 Win At GW
March 8, 2008
WASHINGTON, D.C. - UMass claimed the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, but not before an excruciating end in a 67-63 win at George Washington on Saturday night. The Minutemen and Colonials exchanged the lead 11 times in the second half. Senior Gary Forbes scored 20 points to finish in a tie with Temple's Dionte Christmas for the regular-season A-10 scoring title (20.3 points per game). Ricky Harris also scored 20 points as he made five 3-pointers. Etienne Brower posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Minutemen finish the regular-season 21-9 and riding a six-game winning streak into the Atlantic 10 Tournament. At 10-6, UMass is the No. 3 seed, outright and will play the winner of the No. 6 Charlotte-No. 11 Rhode Island game, which will be played on Wednesday at 9 p.m. UMass will play on Thursday at 9 p.m. The game will be televised by CN8 in the New England area.
Colonial Noel Wilmore missed a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left and Johnny Lee fell out of out of bounds with the rebound to give UMass back the ball with 9.6 seconds remaining.
Forbes made 1-of-2 free throws with 23.5 left for a 66-63 edge. Hollis brought GW back to within two at 65-63 on a lay-up with 28 seconds.
Brower's free throws with 44.1 seconds gave UMass a two-possession lead, 65-61. That came after GW missed two lay-ups on the same possession.
Chris Lowe made a huge steal with 1:23 left in the game to give UMass back the ball, but UMass could not score.
Forbes made 1-of-2 free throws with 1:35 left to make it 63-61. Forbes' hard lay-up gave UMass a 62-61 lead with 3:30 left in the game. Brower and Hollis matched 3-pointers to keep the game deadlocked at 60-60 with 4:51 left in the second.
UMass took a 57-51 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by Harris with 7:51 left in the second. Harris tied his career-best for treys in a game (5) with the second of the duo.
GW took a 46-40 lead on a bank shot by Hollis with 12:43 left in the game. Harris quickly answered with a 3-pointer to cut the lead back to 46-43.
UMass missed six of its first seven shots of the second half as GW took a 39-36 lead on a pair of free throws by Xavier Alexander with 16:57 left in the second.
It was bombs away in the first half for UMass as the Minutemen made 8-of-17 from beyond the 3-point arc to lead 33-31 at intermission. Forbes led all scorers with 14. GW's leading scorer Rob Diggs was held scoreless in the half.
GW tied the game at 31-31 on Cheyenne Moore's trey with 1:06, but Harris' lay-up gave the Minutemen back the lead at 33-31.
UMass hit three 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to retake a lead at 31-24 with 4:15 left in the half as Forbes hit his fourth trey of the first half.
Forbes tied the game at 20-20 on a runner in the paint and Brower's free throws with 5:57 left in the half regained the lead at 22-20.
The Colonials took their first lead of the game at 20-18 on a fastbreak lay-up by Hollis with 7:03 left in the first, which built the spurt to 12-0 as UMass did not score for more than four minutes.
George Washington rallied with a 10-0 run including a pair of 3-pointers by Noel Wilmore to tie the game for the first time at 18-18 with 7:30 left in the first, causing Travis Ford to call a timeout.
UMass came out bombing from 3-point range connecting on 5-of-7 to start the game. Brower's 3-pointer with 10:30 left in the first half, gave UMass an 18-8 lead. Matt Glass' trey with 12:50 left in the first half gave the Minutemen a 14-6 lead. Forbes had previously hit consecutive 3-pointers.
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