Nov. 13, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. (Courtesy UMassAthletics.com) – Sampson Carter’s three-pointer with one second left powered Massachusetts to a 67-64 victory over Harvard in its season opener at the Mullins Center.
The Minutemen erased a 64-59 deficit in the final 1:21 thanks to five points from Jesse Morgan including a game-tying triple with 39 seconds remaining.
Morgan led the Minutemen offensive attack with 19 points. Rafael Putney had 13 and accounted for three blocks and two steals. Chaz Williams finished with 12 points and 10 assists.
Following a pair of Wesley Saunders free throws, Morgan tied the game with a jumper in the lane and his trey from 24 feet out on the left wing that tied the game at 64. Williams then forced Christian Webster to turn the ball over near the midcourt stripe that set up the game-winning possession.
UMass led the entire first half and held a 10-point edge with 3:46 left. The Crimson closed the period on a 15-5 run that cut the Minuteman lead to 39-38 at the half.
Harvard took their first lead of the game just 41 seconds into the second half, sparking a back and forth battle the remainder of the game that saw the lead change seven times.
Tuesday’s opener marked sophomore Cady Lalanne’s first collegiate start as well as his return following an injury plagued 2011-12 campaign. Lalanne was a force on defense, finishing with nine points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.
UMass had 11 blocks and 12 steals that aided in its 29-9 advantage in points off turnovers. The Minutemen shot just 39 percent but held the Crimson to 37 percent.
Wesley Saunders led Harvard (1-1) with 18 points and five assists.
The Minutemen will now travel to Bayamon, Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Thursday-Sunday. UMass will open play against Providence on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. The game will be shown live on ESPNU and broadcast on the UMass Sports Network with 105.5 FM WEEI serving as the flagship station.