La Salle Defeats Men's Basketball 70-64 (OT) In Opening Round Of Atlantic 10 Tournament
March 9, 2005
CINCINNATI - Freshman Lawrence Carrier (San Bernadino, Calif.) scored a career-high 17 points and sophomore Rashaun Freeman (Schenectady, N.Y.) scored 19 points but it was not enough as the La Salle Explorers defeated the Minutemen in overtime 70-64 in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. La Salle will face Xavier on Thursday at 2:00 p.m.
Carrier's 17 points were complimented by a career-high nine rebounds, while Freeman recorded his seventh double-double of the season of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Art Bowers (Wilmington, Del.) scored 13 points to round out the top Minutemen scorers.
Steven Smith, the Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Year, led La Salle with 19 points. Jermaine Thomas added 18 points followed by Darnell Harris who netted 15 of his own.
La Salle (10-18) started the game hot going on an 11-to-1 run in the first three minutes of play. UMass was unable to score in the first four minutes of play until Carrier checked into the game and hit back-to-back three-pointers.
The Mintuemen (16-12) were able to cut that down to a one point margin just before halftime on a 14-to-4 run sparked by two more Carrier treys.
Harris hit a three-pointer with eight seconds remaining to push the lead to 33-29 for La Salle going into the break.
The Explorers led by as many as 11 in the second half, but the Minutemen pulled within three, 46-43, with a pair of Freeman free throws with 9:47 to go.
Jeff Viggiano's (Suffield, Conn.) lay-up with 2:17 remaining sparked a 7-0 run capped by a three-pointer from Bowers with 47 seconds in regulation. Bowers' three-pointer gave UMass its first lead of the game at 59-57.
Thomas hit a pair of free throws with 32 seconds in regulation to tie the game at 59 each and give Massachusetts a chance to win on a last possession shot.
Bowers was able to get a jumper from the free throw line up with just under seven seconds remaining, but it rimmed out allowing La Salle to grab the rebound and called time out. Initially, the clock showed 0.7 seconds left, but after a review, 2.2 seconds were placed back on the with La Salle inbounding and having to go the length of the court. Thomas' half-court shot was short as time expired.
In the overtime period, Stephane Lasme (Libreville, Gabon) threw down a two-handed dunk, but missed the ensuing free throw - part of eight missed free throws for UMass in the end of regulation and overtime.
Thomas hit a pair of free throws to tie the game and Mike St. John hit a lay-up to give the Explorers a 63-61 lead in the overtime. St. John and Thomas each hit two more free throws in the final minute of play to go up by five, 67-62 with under 30 seconds to play.
Bowers sprinted down the court to score a quick runner to cut the lead to 67-64, but La Salle hit three of its final four free throws to seal the win.
UMass controlled the glass 48-30 converting that advantage to 14 second chance points. The Minutemen also held a 21-0 advantage in bench points thanks to Carriers performance in the game.
Turnovers and free throw shooting, however, hurt the Maroon & White as La Salle scored 24 points on 16 UMass turnovers. UMass was just 15-of-25 (60 percent) from the free throw line.
The loss was the first in overtime for UMass this season as they are now 5-1 in those games.
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