UMass Lowell wins OT thriller 82-79 over Stony Brook

UMass Lowell wins OT thriller 82-79 over Stony Brook

An entertaining night of college basketball took place at Costello Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.  The UMass Lowell River Hawks and the Stony Brook Seawolves put on a show that at times was sloppy but hard fought. In the end, despite committing 21 turnovers, the River Hawks got a left corner three-ball from Senior Matt Harris with 26 seconds left to tie the game. Then, they went ahead and won it in overtime 82-79. The win improved their record to 8-12, and 2-5 in America East play

After the game, Harris said the game-tying play was designed for him. He gave credit to Obadiah Noel with setting a good screen for him to take the shot. Coach Pat Duquette credited his team with battling through turnovers as they committed 21 on the night. He also praised the ability to defend on the post against a team that once again was taller and bigger than his.


UMass Lowell came out firing right out of the gate to start the game hitting four of their first five shots, including three for three from deep. The Seawolves hung in there knocking down four of their first six shots. With almost six minutes gone in the game, the River Hawks were up 11-8.


The hot shooting did not continue for the home team, but Stony Brook did stay warm. They shot 66% through the middle stages of the first half. What stopped the Seawolves from gaining a big lead would be the theme of the night, turnovers.


The first half alone saw seven ties, the last coming on a Ryan Jones layup with five seconds left in first twenty minutes. There were seven lead changes and the River Hawks had the biggest lead of the first half at 8-2 on a Jones three ball. He finished with 14 on the night. Both teams had more turnovers than assists in the first stanza with Lowell at nine and seven, and the Seawolves with 10 and six.


The second half began much the same way the first half went. Lowell scored first four of half to take a four-point lead courtesy of layups by Jones and Jahad Thomas, who finished with 30 points on 11-for-15 shooting, 7-for-10 from the foul line. It was his second 30-point game of the year. The Seawolves would come right back and score the next four points to re-tie the game on a layup by Tyrrell Sturdivant. That was followed by a dunk off of a pretty assist from Jordan McKenzie by Akwasi Yeboah (23 points) that had the game squared at 40.


It would stay this way for most of the second half, as neither team was able to pull away from the other. With five minutes left the Seawolves went on a seven nothing run that at the time looked like it was going to put the game away for them. A layup from Elijah Olaniyi (16) was followed by a trey from UC Iroegbu (11 for him) then added another dunk this time by Olaniyi that gave the visitors a 70-64 advantage with 2:29 left in the second half.


Thomas brought the River Hawks back to within two on back to back layups. It was 70-68 with 1:24 left.  A three from Sturdivant looked like the dagger shot and it came with 37 seconds left after a Stony Brook timeout.


Then came Harris’s heroics to send the game to OT. Harris finished with 15 including four from deep. He tied the game at 71 apiece but still left enough time for Stony Brook to get off one more shot. With 26 seconds to play the Seawolves had the ball with a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but could not. The game was to go five more minutes tied at 71.


In OT, the River Hawks strung good possession together to pull this one out. They jumped out to a six-point lead on a free throw by Thomas, a three from Noel (13) another bomb from Harris. They also got two free throws from Ryan Jones, 14 for him. It gave the River Hawks a six-point lead with 2:30 left.


The Seawolves would not go away and they cut it to a one-possession game on a three from Olaniyi with eight seconds left in the game. They would get the ball back with an opportunity to force double-overtime off a missed free throw from Noel. With five seconds left, Stony Brook had one more shot at it. But they did not get the shot off in time, and the River Hawks escaped with the 82-79 win.


For Stony Brook now 8-13, 3-4 in America East, they received 11 points from Jaron Cornish. Lowell returns to the court on Saturday when they play host to Hartford at 5 pm.

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