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River Hawks Battle Back for Overtime Win

December 30, 2018

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Despite trailing by 10 with less than four minutes remaining, the UMass Lowell men’s basketball team battled back to earn an exciting 100-91 overtime victory at Sacred Heart to close out its non-conference campaign on Saturday.

The River Hawks improved to 8-7. With eight non-conference wins this season, UMass Lowell will enter America East Conference play above .500 for the first time at the Division 1 level. UMass Lowell begins America East play next Saturday, hosting Stony Brook (1 p.m.).

The victory over Sacred Heart (4-9) also marked the first road win of the season for UML, which was led by Christian Lutete’s 29 points and 9rebounds. Three other River Hawks scored in double-figures in the outing, including Obadiah Noel with 22 points, Ryan Jones with 18 and Josh Gantz with 10.

Down 81-71, Jones and Lutete drained big threes on back-to-back possessions to ignite a 10-2 run that was capped off by another triple from Gantz in the last minute to knot the score at 82-82 and force overtime. The River Hawks kept the momentum, scoring the first nine points of the extra period, including five from Noel to pull away en route to the come-from-behind decision.

“I didn’t know how we were going to turn the rhythm of the game, especially with about eight minutes left in the second half,” said UML head coach Pat Duquette.

“I just kept telling our guys that it’s a long game, we still have a chance to get back in it. They believed in it and continued to play loose on offense. That’s when our shots started going down and that actually energized our defense a little bit. Such a great win for this young group, so we’re really excited heading into conference play.”

It was the second time this season that the River Hawks have won after trailing by double-digits in the fourth quarter.

Lowell women come up short

BALTIMORE -- The UMass Lowell women’s basketball team concluded its non-conference schedule with a 61-49 loss at Morgan State.

Brianna Rudolph and Bri Stiers each scored 12 points for the River Hawks (4-9) in the effort.

UMass Lowell took a 19-17 advantage into the second quarter and built multiple two-possession leads, but the Bears fought back to square the score each time. Trailing 23-19, the hosts closed the half on an 8-4 run as the River Hawks went into the break up 29-27.

The Bears came out in the second half and took a 33-29 lead before back-to-back buckets for UMass Lowell, sparked by Rudolph’s play on both ends of the court. Seconds after an offensive rebound and put back, the guard intercepted a pass and added a no-look assist on a Ren’Cia Rolling layup.

Morgan State scored the first nine points of the fourth to open a 53-42 buffer.

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