Dukes Top UMass in A-10 Tourney First Round, 79-76
March 10, 2004
By RUSTY MILLER
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Martin Osimani made four free throws in the final 8.6 seconds to lead Duquesne to a 79-76 victory over Massachusetts on Wednesday night in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.
The Dukes (12-16) advance to meet Dayton (22-7) in a Thursday night quarterfinal at the University of Dayton Arena.
Massachusetts (10-19) scored six points in a row to take a 71-67 lead with 2:32 left but Duquesne pulled even on two free throws by Bryant McAllister and a baseline jumper by Jack Higgins. After a miss by the Minutemen, McAllister hit a short turnaround jumper in the lane with 1:10 left for a 73-71 lead.
The Minutemen missed a 3-point attempt and on the ensuing trip down the floor, McAllister was knocked down in the backcourt by UMass' Jeff Viggiano. McAllister did not immediately get up and coach Danny Nee summoned seldom-used guard Tyler Bluemling to shoot the free throws for the woozy McAllister.
Bluemling came into the game just long enough to make both shots with 32.2 seconds left for a 75-71 lead.
Rashaun Freeman, who led the Minutemen with 18 points and 12 rebounds, scored inside with 10 seconds remaining to cut the lead to two points.
Osimani, who had not scored all night despite playing 31 minutes, was fouled after catching the inbounds pass and made both shots with 8.6 seconds left.
After a long pass, Brennan Martin threw in a 3-pointer from the deep corner
to narrow the lead to 77-76, and again the Minutemen fouled Osimani on the
inbounds pass. He again made both shots with 1.8 seconds remaining. Jimmy
Tricco then intercepted a long pass and dribbled the ball to run out the
Higgins scored all 14 of his points in the second half, while Elijah Palmer and Tricco also had 14 points. Kieron Achara had 13 points and McAllister 12 for Duquesne, which won its third straight after losing five in a row and seven of eight.
Art Bowers also scored 18 points for Massachusetts, which finished the year by losing eight of its last nine. Maurice Maxwell added 16 and Viggiano had 10.