December 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

BLOG: UMass football recruiting roundup: UMass signs DT, offers two kickers -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass President Robert Caret resigns to become chancellor of the University of Maryland system -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brandon Montour: ‘It felt great to be out there’ -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass falls to Northeastern in Brandon Montour’s debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cady Lalanne continues to evolve as a potential outside shooting threat -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UMass hockey returns to action against Northeastern, Montour to make season debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Demetrius Dyson remains hopeful despite rocky start to season -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Former UMass soccer star Matt Keys aims to continue his career professionally -

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pierre-Louis, Dillard shine in UMass victory over Holy Cross -

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Passing, spacing improved in UMass victory -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Prolific first half propels UMass past Canisius, 75-58 -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

UMass Faculty Senate hears ad hoc committee’s report on FBS football, shoots down contentious motion -

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Minutemen hope improved spacing will aid struggling half court offense -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Divest UMass urges Board of Trustees to split with fossil fuel industry -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cady Lalanne accustomed to dealing with increased attention -

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Front to Back: Week of Dec. 1, 2014 -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chiarelli: UMass basketball running out of time to find its identity -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Minutewomen take care of business against American -

Monday, December 8, 2014

UMass women’s basketball handles American, 71-61 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

UMass basketball downed by Florida Gulf Coast 84-75 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Last-second shot launches UMass into A-10 Tournament

On his night, Ricky Harris hit the shot he’s dreamed of his entire life.

With his team tied at 67 with Rhode Island and a berth into the Atlantic 10 tournament on the line, Harris drove into the paint before hitting a tear-drop with three seconds remaining on the clock, sealing the 69-67 victory.

“Somewhere in my 22 years of living I definitely dreamt of this, playing in my backyard or playing against my little cousins,” Harris said. “Now it’s like a dream come true.”

While the shot on senior night sent the Massachusetts men’s basketball team into the A-10 tournament, it had far more implications than just that. The team it defeated, URI (21-8, 9-7 A-10), also could have knocked them out of the NCAA tournament picture. For La Salle, who beat the Minutemen (11-19, 5-11 A-10) on Wednesday, the shot knocked it out of the A-10 tournament.

While the contest at the Mullins Center wasn’t a must-win game for the Minutemen – they could have clinched a spot in the tournament if La Salle beat Saint Joseph’s – they certainly entered the game with that mentality.

“This game was do-or-die, we could either win or go home,” Harris said.

During the contest, the out-of-town scores were never announced so UMass could focus on the only game they could control that would help them reach the playoffs: its own.

The plan worked, as the Minutemen overcame a nine-point deficit with 11 minutes, 38 seconds left in the game. Over the next 5:40, it would be all UMass as it would go on a 12-1 run to take its first lead, 52-50, since the second minute of the game.

The Rams would go back on top by three a minute later, but Harris would score 10 of his 17 second-half points in the final five minutes of the game – including the Minutemen’s final six points of the game – to give his team the lift it needed.

With UMass trailing 57-55, Harris stood at the line for two free throws. The guard missed them both, but instead of giving the Rams an opportunity to make it a two-possession game, Harris fought through the paint to grab the offensive rebound and lay it in to tie the game.

The senior finished the night with a game-high 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting and also grabbed seven rebounds.

“I’m ecstatic that the team played the way they did for Ricky and that Ricky was able to play the way he did for the team and for the fans,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “I don’t think you could ask for a better ending for the way Ricky has been as a player, a person and an ambassador for the program.”

The Minutemen were also led by freshman Javorn Farrell who added 12 points in 33 minutes, and Sean Carter who had seven points and seven rebounds of his own.

UMass struck first in the contest with a jumper by Farrell from the free-throw line and led 4-2 a minute later, but the Rams took over quickly. Five minutes into the game they held a six-point lead and extended it to nine just over halfway through the half, but never extended the lead to double digits – always keeping UMass within striking distance.

Marquis Jones led URI’s scoring with 15 points and six assists, and Lamonte Ulmer added a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) as five Rams players finished in double-figure scoring.

The win gave UMass the No. 11 seed in the upcoming A-10 tournament, and with Dayton’s loss to Saint Louis Saturday evening, the Minutemen will face sixth-seeded Charlotte this Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the opening round. The Rams took the No. 5 seed and will host No. 12 St. Joe’s.

Jeffrey R. Larnard can be reached at jlarnard@dailycollegian.com.

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