AMHERST, Mass. -
University of Massachusetts men's basketball dropped a 65-62 game to the University of Central Florida (UCF) at the Mullins Center on Saturday afternoon after the Knights hit a last-second 3-pointer during a broken play at the top of the arc that sealed the victory for the visitors. UCF improved to 6-1 with the win while UMass fell to 5-2 on the season.
After the Minutemen evened the game at 62-apiece with 14 seconds to go on a Donte Clark
corner 3-pointer, UCF had the last look for the win. A.J. Davis took play to the hoop with four seconds to go, but his contested layup bounced off the back of the rim and fell across the cylinder into the tangled arms of UMass and UCF players to the left of the hoop, which knocked the ball toward the top of the 3-point arc. Nick Banyard caught play, spun and sank a fade-away 3-pointer with less than one second to go on the clock for the final margin.
The Maroon and White trailed by three late before Clark's clutch shot forced UCF's heroics at the buzzer. With 31 seconds to go, Tacko Fall was fouled and sent to the free throw line, where he sank both attempts and put the Knights up 62-59. On the next possession, Pipkins found Clark in the corner for a game-tying 3-pointer that rattled around the rim before it sank through.
Banyard finished with 10 points, second on the squad to Tank Efianayi's 24 scored. Fall - the tallest play in NCAA basketball this season at 7-foot-6 - finished with 16 rebounds (15 defensive boards) and nine points.
Freshman Tyrn Flowers
led the Minutemen with a career-best 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting, including 6-of-10 from beyond the 3-point line. He finished one rebound shy of his first collegiate double-double. Classmate Luwane Pipkins
added 16 points, seven steals and six rebounds with two assists against zero turnovers in 34 minutes playing point guard.
The Minutemen continue their streak of four consecutive home games with a Thurs., Dec. 8 contest against Pacific (3-3) at 7 p.m. Ticket information is available through 866-UMASS-TIX, the Mullins Center Box Office (Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.) or online via UMass Ticket Central
Follow the squad on Twitter and Instagram (@UMassBasketball).