Charlotte Upends #3 UMass, 69-65, at A-10s

Leemire Goldwire canned three treys in the final 3 1/2 minutes to power Charlotte's 12-3 run that gave the 49ers a 69-65 upset win over Massachusetts Thursday evening in an Atlantic 10 Conference Men's Basketball Championship quarterfinal at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.

Box Score

Number six seed Charlotte was down 17 at the half and 18, 39-21, at the start of the second. The 49ers put together a 29-8 run for a 50-47 lead with 10:10 left to play. Charlotte, which took a one-point 48-47 edge on a Lamont Mack trey, last led, 7-5, at 13:54 of the first half.

Massachusetts, the number three seed and a projected at-large pick for the NCAAs, rallied and scored 15 of the next 18 points to go up 62-53 with 4:55 on the clock.

Charlotte showed its resilience as the 49ers closed the game with a 12-3 run for the four-point win, a 20-12 record and a slot in the A-10's second semifinal against no. 2 seed Temple.

Leemire Goldwire led all players with 24 points and Mack added 23. Charlie Coley (right) had 14 points and 17 rebounds, his second career double-double and career-best night on the boards for the junior college transfer and first-year A-10 player. Coley also registered the 49ers' lone blocked shot.

Dijuan Harris was credited with six assists and four steals.

Down 7-5, Massachusetts' Etienne Brower canned a three for an 8-7 lead at the beginning of a 15-2 run that Brower capped with another trey and a 20-9 advantage with 8:22 left in the first half.

Goldwire and Coley each scored three points to get Charlotte to within five, 20-15, less than a minute later. The Minutemen responded with a 16-4 run for a 36-19 edge at the half.

An'Juan Wilderness' fastbreak layup opened the second half scoring. Chris Lowe's 3-pointer put UMass up, 39-21, UM's largest lead of 18 points.

Mack canned a pair of free throws and hit a three-pointer to start Charlotte's plus-21 point surge.

A-10 Player of the Year Gary Forbes' pair of baskets started and closed the 15-3 run which gave UMass a 62-53 nine-point lead with 4:55 to go.

After a 30-second timeout by Charlotte head coach Bobby Lutz, Coley sank two free throws to kick off another comeback. Goldwire's trey at 1:03 gave Charlotte a 66-65 lead and his final three-pointer with 20 seconds left sealed the win.

Forbes and Brower each had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Minutemen, Lowe added 12 points and Ricky Harris scored 11 points for the 21-10 squad from Amherst. Forbes also had four assists and three steals. Dante Milligan had four of UM's 11 blocks; Massachusetts has a league-leading 7.48 blocks per game, 0.15 ahead of Duquesne.

Charlotte, which had shot 22.9 percent, 10% from the arc, in the first period, made half of their 32 attempts in the second, which included going 9-of-14 from 3-point range. UMass at 52.0%, 53.8% on 3s, in the opening frame, made 40.7% in the second - 33.3% outside the arc.

Charlotte outrebounded the Minutemen by 23, 52-29, and had 26 second chance points to UMass' six. Neither team hit their goal from the free throw stripe: Charlotte, 11-of 20 for 55.0 percent -- UMass, 7-of-17, 41.7%.

Thursday quarterfinal results

Xavier 74, Dayton 65 Game Story
Saint Joseph's 61, Richmond 47 Game Story
Temple 84, La Salle 75 Game Story
Charlotte 69, Massachusetts 65

Friday's Semifinals

6:30 p.m. #1 Xavier vs #5 Ssint Joseph's
9:00 p.m. #2 Temple vs #6 Charlotte

Both games on CSTV Regional and online video (pay-for-view)

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