Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

UMass 77, Providence 75: Second straight wild finish boosts Minutemen past Friars

UMass improved to 2-0 on the season after a Terrell Vinson buzzer beater helped the Minutemen beat Providence 77-75 Thursday.

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Vinson hits buzzer-beater for UMass

The UMass Minutemen trailed much of the second half against the Providence Friars on Thursday, but were able to tie and then win it 77-75 in the final minutes.

After a LaDontate Henton jumper put Providence up 75-72 with less than two minutes left, UMass's Jesse Morgan hit a three to tie it with 1:26 remaining. UMass came up with a stop and on the final possession, Terrell Vinson was able to tip in a miss at the buzzer to give the Minutemen the win.

UMass led by five at halftime, but Providence surged ahead early in the second half and held a lead until late in the game. Morgan led UMass with 18 points, Chaz Williams scored 17, Vinson had 14 and Cady Lalanne had eight points. UMass shot 51 percent for the game.

The Minutemen are now 2-0 on the season and have won both of their games at the buzzer.

Providence was led by Bryce Cotton with 23 points and Kadeem Batts with 19. The Friars are now 2-1 on the season.

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UMass leads Providence by six at half

The UMass Minutemen lead the Providence Friars 41-35 at halftime of Thursday's game, led by Chaz Williams and Jesse Morgan.

Williams has scored 11 points and Morgan has 10. Terrell Vinson and Cady Lalanne have six points each. The Minutemen are shooting 59 percent for the half, although the team has made just 63 percent of its free throws.

Providence got off to a slow start shooting the ball, but finished the half at 42 percent. Kadeem Batts has 14 points, Bryce Cotton has scored eight, Josh Fortune has seven and LaDontae Henton has six. No other Providence player has scored.

A three by Fortune and jumpers by Henton and Batts in the final 1:35 of the half helped Providence cut a double-digit deficit down to six.

Both teams come into the game unbeaten, Providence at 2-0 and UMass at 1-0. The Friars came away with a surprisingly close 1-point win over New Jersey Institute of Technology and defeated Bryant by 22 points. UMass beat Harvard by three in its opener.

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