Massachusetts 89, Alabama 87, OT
AMHERST, Mass. (AP)—Chris Lowe’s pull-up jumper with 1.6 seconds left in overtime gave Massachusetts an 89-87 victory over Alabama in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday night.
Stephane Lasme led fourth-seeded UMass with 21 points and nine blocked shots, while Lowe added 19 points. Mykal Riley had 24 points to lead No. 5 seed Alabama, including a 3-pointer at the regulation buzzer to force overtime.
The Crimson Tide (20-12) took an 85-84 lead early in the extra session, but Gary Forbes converted a three-point play to put UMass ahead 87-85 with 1:15 to go. After both teams missed shots, Demetrius Jamison scored inside to tie it before Lowe hit his game-winning shot.
The Minutemen (24-8) advanced to play at West Virginia in the second round Thursday night. The Mountaineers, the No. 1 seed in the East Region, defeated eighth-seeded Delaware State 70-54.
The Crimson Tide led by nine with 11:47 remaining, but coming out of a timeout the Minutemen went on a 12-3 run to tie the score at 65. Alabama stretched its lead back to 78-73 with just under 4 minutes left, but UMass answered again, scoring nine of the next 11 points to lead 82-80 with 5 seconds left.
After Lasme blocked Jamison’s shot with 6 seconds left, Alabama was forced to foul, sending Lowe to the line with a chance to clinch the game. The sophomore point guard made the first, but missed the second free throw, giving the Tide a chance.
Riley, who kept the Tide in the game early, came off a screen and barely got the shot off on time, but it dropped in to force overtime.
Brandon Hollinger, who started in place of injured point guard Ronald Steele, had 19 points for Alabama, including 16 after halftime. Alonzo Gee added 14.