Goldwire scores 24 as Charlotte tops Massachusetts in A10 tourney

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP)—Leemire Goldwire hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 62 seconds to play and clinched the game with another in the closing seconds as Charlotte stunned Massachusetts 69-65 in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament on Thursday night.

The sixth-seeded 49ers (20-12) rallied from deficits of 18 points early in the second half and nine points in the final five minutes in upsetting the third-seeded Minutemen (21-10).

Goldwire finished with 24 points and Lamont Mack added 23 before fouling out with 49 seconds to play.

Gary Forbes and Etienne Brower had 14 points apiece to lead Massachusetts, which came into the tournament riding a six-game winning streak.

Charlotte will play second-seeded Temple (19-12) in the semifinals on Friday night at Boardwalk Hall. The Owls beat La Salle 84-75 earlier in the night. Top-seeded Xavier and fifth-seeded Saint Joseph’s will play in the other semifinal.

Charlie Coley added 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for the 49ers.

Trailing 62-53 with just under five minutes to play, Charlotte used an 10-1 spurt and tied the game at 63 on a fast break layup by Coley with 1:58 to play.

Dante Milligan tipped in a shot by Forbes to give Massachusetts a 65-63 lead with 1:35 to play, but Goldwire took a pass in the right corner with the shot clock running down and swished a 3-pointer to put the 49ers ahead 66-65.

Chris Lowe, who added 12 points, had a chance to put Massachusetts ahead with 48.7 seconds to play when he was fouled by Mack. However, he missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Charlotte worked the clock down.

Goldwire took a straight-on 3-pointer from about 23 feet and nailed it with 18 seconds to play for a four-point lead.

Brower missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds when Massachusetts could not get a shot to fall.

A disgusted Forbes lay prone on the floor after the final buzzer and stormed off the court without shaking hands.

Brower scored eight points in a 16-4 run that ended the first half and put the Minutemen ahead 36-19. A 3-pointer by Lowe stretched the lead to 18, but Charlotte rallied as Mack scored 16 points in a 29-8 spurt that got the 49ers back in the game.

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