Men's Basketball

Harris' Career Night Not Enough As UMass Falls To BC In Overtime, 85-81

Tony Gaffney had 15 points and 18 rebounds for UMass

Tony Gaffney had 15 points and 18 rebounds for UMass

Dec. 6, 2008

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AMHERST, Mass. - A career-high 35 points by Ricky Harris and a near triple-double by Tony Gaffney highlighted a gallant effort by UMass, but it wasn't enough, as the Minutemen fell to Boston College, 85-81, in overtime on Saturday night at the Mullins Center. UMass came back from five down with 23 seconds left to force overtime and the teams traded leads six times in the extra frame, but the Eagles were able to outscore the Minutemen, 6-1, in the final 1:02 of overtime. UMass falls to 1-6 on the season, while BC improves to 6-2.

Harris shattered his old career-high of 27 by shooting 12-for-19 from the field and 5-for-6 from the line. He added four rebounds and an assist. Gaffney nearly reached a triple-double with 15 points, 18 rebounds and nine blocks.

The two teams slugged it out in overtime, exchanging the lead six times, before BC took the lead for good on a Josh Southern jumper with 1:02 remaining. With the Eagles leading, 83-80, with 8.3 seconds left, Rakim Sanders missed two free throws. Lowe was fouled on the ensuing UMass possession, where he made one of two, cutting the BC lead to two, 83-81, with 3.9 seconds remaining.

The Eagles came out of the gates strong, making their first three shots and taking a 9-2 lead just over three minutes into the game. UMass came back with a 7-0 spurt to tie the game at nine, and after two-straight field goals by BC, Anthony Gurley scored five-straight points in a 8-0 UMass run to give the Minutemen a 17-13 lead with 11:06 left in the half.

The Minutemen took their biggest lead of the half after Gaffneydunked home the rebound of missed shots on two possessions in a row, making it 26-20 with 5:15 left, but a 7-0 BC run that followed erased that lead. The teams exchanged the lead four times in the final 2:28 before a Gaffney layup at the buzzer sent the Minutemen to the locker room ahead, 32-29.

Harris led all scorers in the first half with 12 points, while Gurley added nine and Gaffney eight, combining for all but three of UMass' points. Gaffney's four blocks and two steals led a defense that forced 10 Eagles turnovers and converted them into nine points. Corey Raji and Joe Trapani led BC in the first half with eight points each.

The teams battled back and forth throughout the first early portions of the second half. Just over three minutes in, two-straight hoops by Rakim Sanders gave the Eagles a 38-35 lead, but Harris struck back with a two and a 3-pointer to put the Minutemen back on top, 40-38, with 16:10 to go.

UMass led, 45-40, with 14:55 left when the Eagles went on a 9-0 run over the three minutes to take the lead, 49-45. The Minutemen used three 3-pointers, by Matt Glass and two by Harris, over a two minute span to take the lead back, 54-53, with 9:46 to play.

The Eagles followed that up by reeling off seven-straight points, giving them a 60-54 lead, their biggest since the opening minutes of the game.

Harris then put the Minutemen on his back, scoring five-straight points while securing a rebound and a block at the defensive end. A Gurley bucket at the 4:35 mark tied the game, 64-64, but a Raji basket 13 seconds later gave BC a lead they would keep until the final seconds.

BC led, 74-69, with seven seconds left when Lowe hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to pull UMass within two. Reggie Jackson missed the front end of a one-and-one after a UMass foul. Lowe took the outlet pass and flew up the court before being fouled as he entered the lane. After missing the front end of his one-and-one opportunity, Gaffney tipped in the rebound with 2.2 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

The Minutemen return to action on Wednesday when they host Holy Cross at 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center.




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