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(Saturday, December 28th)
Final Score: (23) Massachusetts 69, Providence 67 (OT)
Amherst, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Derrick Gordon's put-back in the paint with 1.1 seconds remaining in overtime lifted No. 23 UMass to a 69-67 decision over plucky Providence at Mullins Center.
Bryce Cotton had evened the score on a triple from the left side with 36 seconds to go. Holding the ball for the final shot of the extra session, Trey Davis' pull-up jumper fell off the front of the rim, but right into the hands on Gordon, who laid it in.
"It looked good," Gordon said of Davis' miss. "But it happened to bounce my way. Everybody was crashing the boards but I was just the one to come up with it."
Cady Lalanne paced the attack with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Minutemen (11-1), who were finally able to shake off the rust of a week-long layoff and put their lone loss of the season -- at Florida State -- behind them.
Sampson Carter added 12 points and 12 boards, Maxie Esho posted 11 points, while Chaz Williams scored 10 points and dished out 10 assists.
Cotton ended up with a game-high 24 points for the Friars (10-3), whose three- game win streak came to an end. Tyler Harris contributed 16 points and nine rebounds, while LaDontae Henton scored 13 in the narrow setback.
The Friars led 15-8 roughly 7 1/2 minutes into the contest after two free throws by Cotton, but a Davis triple capped a quick 10-2 burst which gave UMass a slim 18-17 lead. Both clubs failed to gain separation, with Providence leading 29-28 at halftime thanks to a Josh Fortune jumper.
Lalanne's layup gave the Minutemen a 47-37 edge with 10:16 on the clock, but the Friars continued to chip away and pulled within 50-44 on Henton's free throw with 7:59 remaining. Williams later connected from long range and UMass led 56-46 as the clock ticked down to four minutes left.
Williams' finger roll then put UMass up 59-50 with 3:04 to go, but Providence scored the final nine points of regulation, culminating in Cotton's layup with 10 seconds to play.
Davis hit two from the line and the hosts were on top 65-61 with 1:50 on the clock, only to see Providence pull even.
"I'm very, very, very disappointed we lost that game," said Providence head coach Ed Cooley. "This is back-to-back years losing at the buzzer to this team. It's very frustrating."
UMass, which has dropped 22 of 29 meetings with Providence, picked up its first two-game win streak over its regional rivals since Jan. 25 and Dec. 2, 1969 ... Massachusetts continues its four-game homestand against Miami-Ohio next Saturday, while Providence opens up its Big East slate on New Year's Eve against Seton Hall.
12/28 23:34:37 ET
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