Trey Davis lifts UMass in comeback win over George Washington
Coach Derek Kellogg, seen here earlier this month, and the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team defeated George Washington 77-72 in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Thurasday. The Minutemen will play Temple at 9 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »
Chaz Williams of the University of Massachusetts passes during his team's win against Eastern Michigan Saturday at the Mullins Center. Purchase photo reprints »
NEW YORK — Trey Davis likes New York City.
The freshman guard made two huge 3-pointers to keep the University of Massachusetts in the game and then made two free throws to seal a 77-72 win in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament at the Barclays Center.
Davis, who rescued the Minutemen from a loss at Fordham in the Bronx in January, added Brooklyn to his collection of borough heroics with 12 of his 14 points in the second half.
“I told Chaz (Williams) in the huddle, look for me and I’m going to knock it down,” said Davis, who actually signed with GW two years ago before ending up at UMass. “I just wanted to win the game. I want to go to the NCAA tournament.”
The win keeps that hope alive. UMass (20-10) advanced to face Temple (23-8), tonight at 9 p.m. The Colonials finished their season at 13-17.
Davis has “showed a lot of character this year,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “He feels like he’s as good as anyone in the league and at times he plays that way.”
The atmosphere for the entire second half felt like the last two minutes of a tight game as nobody could create any separation. For the first 14 minutes of the half, the advantage never reached more than one possession for either team.
When George Washington scored six straight points for the half’s largest edge to that point at 59-55 with 6:17 left, Terrell Vinson kept the game close with two free throws and a driving layup for UMass. But he fouled out moments later.
GW looked like it might pull away when Kevin Larsen banked in a hook shot to put the Colonials up 66-61. But Davis answered with a 3-pointer. After Larsen made two free throws, Davis hit another 3 to bring the Minutemen within 68-67 with 2:37 left.
“This kid is great. I believe in the kid,” Williams said. “When I saw him open I knew he was going to make the shot.”
Kellogg then called for a full-court press and Larsen traveled.
The teams traded two baskets before Williams hit a diving layup to give the Minutemen a 73-72 lead with 1:18 left. Larsen missed at the other end and Williams scored again to make it 75-72. After Isaiah Armwood missed a game-tying 3-pointer with 11 seconds left, Williams stripped the ball out of Patricio Garino’s hands and fed Davis.
The freshman made both free throws with five seconds left to seal the win.
Williams finished with 16 points and eight assists. Vinson added 14. Larsen had 17 to lead GW.
George Washington’s rebounding dominance allowed the Colonials to lead for most of the first half. But their shooting woes (9-for-34 overall, 0 for 5 from 3-point range) allowed UMass to stay close and eventually pull ahead.
Raphiael Putney was hot from the outside making three 3-pointers, including a long banked shot from well behind the line. He scored all 12 of his points before intermission. But he picked up his third foul late in the half.
Putney wasn’t alone in foul trouble. Cady Lalanne, Vinson and even freshman Tyler Bergantino, who played four first-half minutes, all had two fouls in the first half.
But the bench picked UMass up. Davis scored off an offensive rebound and Maxie Esho made two free throws as the Minutemen scored the last four points of the half to lead 34-31.