UMass Falls in Heartbreaker to St. Louis in Regular-Season Finale
AMHERST, Mass (AP) –— Jordair Jett scored on a driving layup with 3 seconds to play and No. 17 Saint Louis snapped a three-game losing streak with a 64-62 victory over Massachusetts on Sunday as the Billikens won the Atlantic 10 regular season title outright for the second straight season.
Jett finished with 17 points, including the Billikens’ last six of the game. Saint Louis (26-5, 13-3 A-10) got its final possession on a jump ball call with 36.4 seconds left. Jett dribbled out the clock near midcourt before starting in the game-winning drive.
Chaz Williams, who had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Minutemen (23-7, 10-6), had a 3-point attempt at the buzzer bounce off the rim.
Saint Louis, which started its losing skid after a school-record 19-game winning streak, didn’t lead in the second half until Jett’s game-winning shot.
Dwayne Evans of Saint Louis tied the game at 56-56 with 3:16 to play. UMass responded with two baskets but Evans hit a layup to set up the Jett for the win.
There were 10 lead changes in all, nine in the first half.
The Billikens opened the game with a 9-2 run punctuated by a dunk by Evans with 18:03 to play.
UMass called a timeout and came out with a 10-0 run as Saint Louis helped with four turnovers in a 1:39 span.
Raphiael Putney gave UMass its first consecutive scores since the run, with a 3-pointer to take a 19-17 lead with 10:37 left in the half.
Cady Lalanne extended the lead, but the Billikens tied the game 21-21 on a layup by John Manning with 8:28 left.
A jumper from Jett pushed Saint Louis ahead 26-23 with 6:19 left, but the Minutemen responded to take their largest lead of the half, 30-26, with 5:04 to play.
Two minutes later, Saint Louis’ Rob Loe tied the game at 30-30. Derrick Gordon of UMass tied it one last time at 33-33 with a layup with 1:07 left. Putney made a layup, off an assist from Williams, with 39 seconds left for the 35-33 halftime lead.