Southern Illinois Edges UMass, 65-63
Dec. 21, 1999
BAYAMON, Puerto Rico (AP) - Ricky Collum scored 16 points and Southern Illinois overcame a dreadful start to beat Massachusetts 65-63 Tuesday night in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic.
The Salukis (4-4), who missed 15 of their first 16 shots in falling behind 18-4, will play the winner of the game between No. 11 Tennessee and American University-Puerto Rico in Wednesday's semifinals.
Collum snapped Southern Illinois out of its shooting funk with a 3-pointer, his first of three in the opening half. A 3-pointer by Brandon Mells with 4:58 left in the first half gave the Salukis a 28-26 lead.
Southern Illinois opened the second half with an 11-3 run for a 45-37 lead and it reached 10 points twice, the second time at 51-41 on two free throws by Collum with 12:02 to play.
The Minutemen (5-4) then scored seven straight points. A tough baseline jumper by Mells gave Southern Illinois a 65-60 lead with 1:04 to play. Monty Mack was fouled taking a 3-pointer 12 seconds later and made all three free throws to bring the Minutemen within two.
Massachusetts got the ball back on a turnover by Kent Williams with 22 seconds to play. After a timeout, Shannon Crooks missed a driving jumper in the lane with six seconds left. Chris Thunell of Southern Illinois missed two free throws with four seconds left but Crooks' heave from just inside midcourt was off the mark.
Collum finished 4-for-7 from 3-point range.
Mells finished with nine points for the Salukis, who finished 21-for-65 from the field (32.3 percent), but had a 46-35 rebound advantage. Thunell was just 1-for-10 from the field but had 10 rebounds.
Chris Kirkland had 18 points for Massachusetts, which committed 24
turnovers, and Mack finished with 17.
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