Last-Minutemen Top Providence in Another Thriller
Nov. 15, 2012
BAYAMON, P.R. — Terrell Vinson tipped-in a Chaz Williams floater in the lane to help Massachusetts defeat Providence, 77-75, in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez late Thursday night.
For Vinson, it was the second buzzer-beater of his career. As a freshman, he beat the clock against Memphis in Boston. It was also the second-consecutive game the Minutemen broke a tie with a game-winning shot in the final two seconds.
UMass (2-0) shot 51 percent and outscored Providence 7-2 in the final 2:01. The rally was necessary when the Friars erased en eight-point second half margin and went ahead for the first time since early in the game with a 3-pointer at the 8:52 mark.
Providence (2-1) made just two baskets in the final six minutes but were 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
Jesse Morgan led UMass with 18 points and kept the Minutemen close with a pair of crucial triples – one with 2:51 left that cut the PC lead to 71-70 and another two possessions later that tied it at 75 with 1:22 to play. He was 4-for-8 from outside in 24 minutes off the bench.
Williams had 17 with seven rebounds and five assists, but also turned the ball over six times. Vinson was 5-of-7 from the floor with 14 points and six boards. Raphiael Putney was the fourth player in double figures before finishing with 10 points and seven boards.
UMass outrebounded PC 36-34.
The Minutemen used a suffocating press and solid defense in the first half to build a n 11-point lead late in the period before the Friars closed on a 5-0 run entering the break. UMass forced five turnovers with its press and a pair of shot clock violations.
PC got 23 points from Bryce Cotton and 19 points from Kadeem Batts. UMass will not face No. 6 North Carolina State in the semifinals on Friday night at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. The game will be televised on ESPN2 or ESPNU and aired on the UMass Sports Network, which is carried in Western Mass. by the flagship station, WEEI 105.5 FM.