With no time to catch and shoot, Freeman flicked in a layup with
0.4 seconds remaining, giving Massachusetts a 76-74 victory over
George Washington (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today; No. 21 AP) on Saturday.
"Honestly, I thought he was going to take the shot," Freeman
said. "When he passed to me, I was close enough to make an easy
Freeman finished with season-highs of 27 points and 15 rebounds,
and Maurice Maxwell scored a career-high 20 points for the
Minutemen (8-6, 2-2 Atlantic 10), who have defeated two Top 25
opponents for the first time since 1998-99. They beat Connecticut
at home last month.
"We're not there yet," said Massachusetts coach Steve Lappas,
whose team is 6-0 in games decided by four or fewer points. "We
Coach Karl Hobbs said almost the same words after his Colonials
(11-3, 3-1) overcame an 18-point second-half deficit only to have
their three-game winning streak snapped. George Washington's
usually reliable 3-point shooters couldn't find the range against
UMass' zone, with T.J. Thompson going just 1-of-6 and the team only
"Their zone is what controlled the tempo, and we just did not
shoot the ball well against it," Hobbs said. "At times we became
a little frustrated because we just couldn't make jump shots, and
we normally make jump shots.
"I've said it before," Hobbs added. "We're not a team that's
there. We're a team that's trying to be there."
Freeman bounced back from a poor shooting effort against Saint
Joseph's by going 10-of-16 from the field and 7-of-10 from the free
throw line. The Minutemen overcame 25 turnovers -- including four in
overtime -- to win on the road for the first time in three road
games this season.
"I've got to figure out a way to make them feel like they stink
every game," said Lappas, whose team lost by seven to Saint
Joseph's on Wednesday. "It's hard to do after you win a game like
this. I've got to make them feel like they stink because we play
better when we think we stink, for some reason. I don't understand
Freeman's game-winning shot came after George Washington's J.R.
Pinnock, an 87.5 percent free throw shooter entering the game,
missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 18 seconds to play.
Pinnock finished with 15 points for the Colonials, and Pops
Menash-Bonsu scored all of GW's four points in overtime and
finished with 12. Mike Hall added 14 points and 10 rebounds before
fouling out in overtime.
Freeman scored six points in a 9-0 run that gave UMass a 53-35
lead with 13:31 remaining, but the Colonials awoke with a 17-0 run
that included 3-pointers from Maureece Rice, Pinnock and Hall,
breaking a 1-for-10 slump from 3-point range.
Omar Williams' three-point play tied the game at 57 with 7:49
remaining, and there were five more ties before regulation was
done. Thompson only successful 3-point attempt, with 17 seconds to
go, sent the game to overtime with the score tied at 70.
"We had so many turnovers and we just kept fighting and
fighting," Lappas said. "When you're the visitor and the home
team makes a shot at the end of regulation, that's tough. We just
stopped them for 3 minutes until we finally made a shot. Anthony
made a great pass to Ray at the end of the game."