AMHERST, Mass. –
University of Massachusetts junior guard Donte Clark
posted 29 points, including 18 of the team's final 22 scored, in a 70-66 men's basketball victory over Harvard in the Mullins Center on Saturday. Clark finished one point shy of tying his single-game personal best for scoring as he went 6-for-15 from the floor and 13-for-14 at the foul line.
"We are happy to come away with a win today against a team where, every year, it seems to come down to the last minute and a half, two minutes of the game," head coach Derek Kellogg
Clark's single missed free throw proved paramount in the victory as Clark was able to collect the loose ball for his fifth rebound of the game with 11 seconds left and the Minutemen ahead 66-64. The missed free throw clanked off the left side of the rim and bounced toward the UMass bench, which Clark alertly raced to and recovered.
"I was probably the first person to know that (the free throw was off-target)," Clark said. "I took off like I was in a track meet. I knew it was going left, so I just went and got it."
The Crimson fouled Clark again following his offensive board and sent him back to the line, where the Charlotte, North Carolina, native calmly sank two more free throws for a 68-64 margin on the way to the 70-66 victory.
"That's Donte (Clark), that's our leader," Lewis said on Clark's play in the final minutes. "We expect that from him. He had a great game today, but this is something we have seen since the summertime when we were just practicing."
joined Clark in double-figures with 10 points during his first start as a Minuteman. Lewis was 5-of-11 shooting with two rebounds and a pair of assists while he did not turn the ball over in 35 minutes on the floor.
An evenly fought game came down to the final minute of play as the sides traded the lead nine times and the contest featured 13 tie scores.
The Minutemen went in front for good with three minutes, 44 seconds to go in regulation. After a Siyani Chambers 3-pointer extended a Crimson lead to 54-50, Clark answered with back-to-back triples as he provided the entire team's scoring during an 11-2 run that turned the four-point gap into a 61-56 advantage at the 2:30 mark.
Massachusetts led by as many as eight points with under 90 seconds to play, but a late Crimson surge nearly earned the visitors an upset. Chambers hit a 3-pointer wrapped around two successful trips to the free throw line by Seth Towns as Harvard put in seven straight points and pulled within 65-64 with 58 seconds to go.
Chambers (11 points) was one of three Harvard student-athletes in double-figures against the Minutemen. Towns led the Crimson with 17 points while Henry Welsh added 12. Zena Edosomwan grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Minutemen play their second of four consecutive home games in the Mullins Center on Wed., Nov. 30 against Wagner at 7 p.m.
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