BAYAMON, Puerto Rico (AP) - Terrell Vinson's tip-in as time expired gave UMass a 77-75 win over Providence in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tipoff on Thursday.
Trailing 75-72, UMass guard Jesse Morgan hit a 3-pointer with 1:22 left to tie the game.
``The kids told me they were ready to make a run in the last three minutes,' UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. ``I just don't want this to become a habit - where you let a lead get away and have to win at the end.'
Morgan led the Minutemen (2-0) with 18 points. Chaz Williams added 17 points and seven rebounds and Vinson added 14 points and six rebounds.
``I took the shot, it lipped out and was under the basket, praying the tip would go in,' Williams said. ``We are really happy with the victory, but not happy with our performance.'
Bryce Cotton had a game-high 23 points for Friars (2-1). Kadeem Batts had 19 points and nine rebounds and LaDontae Henton added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Providence fell behind 51-43 in the second half, but went on a 13-4 run and took a 56-55 lead on Cotton's layup with 9:43 left.
``Our kids fought back and showed a lot of perseverance today,' Providence coach Ed Cooley said. ``We are going through an incredible adjustment. Everyone is playing out of position. What we have accomplished in a short time in this early part of the season is something.'
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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