Valiant Comeback Falls Short: UMass Drops 75-68 Decision To Northern Iowa
Nov. 11, 2007
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team dropped their first game of the 2007 season on Sunday evening, 75-68, to the Northern Iowa Panthers. Trailing by as many as 20 points, the Minutemen cut the lead to three on numerous occasions in the second half. Senior Gary Forbes led the attack, scoring 29 points, including his 1,000th career point. UMass opens its home schedule on Wednesday at the Mullins Center as they host the Yale Bulldogs at 8 p.m. as part of a basketball doubleheader with the women's team. The women host Boston College at 6 p.m.
Heading into the game, Forbes had 983 career points between his time at the University of Virginia and UMass. He reached 1,000 on a three-pointer with 11:48 remaining in the second half. Forbes was also named to the BTI Tip-Off All-Tournament Team along with Ricky Harris.
Forbes and Harris were the only Minutemen who reached double figures in points. Forbes finished with his third-straight 20 point game to start the season. He recorded a season-high 29 points on 8-of-19 shooting, while Harris had 15. Chris Lowe, who sat out Saturday's game due to injury, recorded six points.
The Minutemen struggled in the first half, shooting 19% (5-of-26) from the field, and 14% (2-of-14) from the three-point stripe. Meanwhile, Northern Iowa was 52% (12-of-23), and 40% (4-of-10) from behind the arc. The Panthers took a 33-20 lead into the locker room.
After being injured in the first half, Harris returned with 11:59 remaining in the second half, energizing UMass' comeback attempt.
The Minutemen put together a 7-0 run within a 26 second span to cut a 17 point lead to 10. Forbes knocked down a three with 11:48 remaining to cut the lead to 49-35. On the ensuing possession, Lowe made a steal in the backcourt and went in for the layup, and was fouled. After missing the free throw, he recorded an offensive rebound. On the same possession, Harris finished with a layup to make it 49-39.
With less than five minutes remaining, the Minutemen continued to chip away. After baskets by Etienne Brower and Lowe, Forbes followed by taking a charge. Harris capitalized with a layup to cut the lead to six, 60-54, with 4:35 remaining in the half.
The Minutemen continued to cut into the lead, but were never able to get closer than three.
Forbes finished with 21 points in the second half in a heroic effort that fell just short.
UMass finished shooting 35% (24-of-68) from the field, and only 18% (5-of-28) on three-pointers. Northern Iowa shot nearly 50% from the field (22-of-45), and 35% from behind the arc (6-of-17).
The Minutemen return home for a pair of games at the Mullins Center. They host Yale on Wednesday at 8 p.m. before hosting UW-Green Bay on Saturday at 7:30. For tickets, call 1-866-UMASS-TIX or online at UMassAthletics.com.
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