No. 20 New Mexico couldn't escape a second time at the Charleston Classic, no matter how many points Alex Kirk scored.
Despite Kirk's career-high 32 points, the weary Lobos (3-1) lost 81-65 to Massachusetts in the tournament semifinals Friday. New Mexico played less than 24 hours after needing double overtime to escape UAB 97-94 on Thursday.
Kirk played 44 minutes before fouling out against UAB and went for 39 minutes against the Minutemen.
"I feel fine. I feel like I just played a basketball game," Kirk said. "I get a day off, which is perfect and then going to play 40 (minutes) more" Sunday in the tournament's third-place game against Davidson or Clemson.
Kirk understood it was easy to point to fatigue, especially when New Mexico got outplayed down the stretch during a 14-0 run when UMass took control. He thought it was more about his team's mistakes, missed shots and lack of execution when it mattered most at the end.
"Once they got on that run, we weren't really able to get back into it," he said.
The Minutemen improve to 5-0 for the second time in four years. Cady Lalanne had his third double-double of the season, finishing with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg knew after the UAB game that New Mexico likely would not have the legs to withstand his team's up-tempo pace late in the game.
"Their stamina was a little bit better than I anticipated or expected," he said. "Both teams played really hard. But once that run came, we were going to take advantage of it."
Few push pace like Williams, a dynamic 5-foot-9 senior from Brooklyn who's up the court in a flash and seeking teammates like Putney and Lalanne to finish. He was content Thursday to let others lead the way — UMass had five players score more than his 10 points in a 96-90 win over Nebraska — but took charge against New Mexico.
Not only did Williams strike for a team-high in points, he had five rebounds, five assists and a steal. He also played effective defense on New Mexico's high-scoring guard Kendall Williams, who was held to 13 points after going for 29 in the UAB win a day earlier.
"Coach just emphasized playing defense and helping each other out," Chaz Williams said. "That's what we did."
New Mexico coach Craig Neal said, "I thought we were prepared for the press, that's on me."
Neal said his team is designed to handle and excel in high-tempo games. Doing that after going 50 hard minutes to defeat UAB a day earlier was a factor, he said.
"I think it might be a little bit of a problem playing two overtimes and have to turn around and play at 2:30. But that's not an excuse," he said.
Still, the game was tied at 61-all at just under eight minutes left on Kirk's jumper when things got away from the Lobos, who missed their final eight shots after tying the game and managed just four foul shots down the stretch.
Kirk worked hard to top his previous best of 31 set against Cal State-Bakersfield in January 2011, going 11 of 26 from the floor as he was swarmed by Minutemen whenever he got the ball. Kirk also finished with 11 rebounds.
Kendall Williams was held to 13 points on 5 of 12 shooting. Much of the time, Chaz Williams was tightly defending him.
Cameron Bairstow, who was averaging 23 points this season, was held to eight points on just eight shots.
"We gave great effort," Neal said. "I thought we had a couple of mental breakdowns and that could've been from fatigue."
Putney's slam on a pretty feed from Chaz Willilams broke the tie at 61 and gave Massachusetts the lead for good. Derrick Gordon followed with a basket and Williams had his third 3-pointer to put the Minutemen ahead 68-61.
Putney followed with a jumper and a 3-pointer and Gordon closed the charge with a basket that made it 75-61. The Lobos had no answers unlike the UAB game when Kendall Williams' 3 tied it at the end of regulation, Kirk's 3 tied it at the end of overtime and Cleveland Thomas' 3 put them ahead for good in the final minute of the second extra period.
But the Lobos matched the Minutemen for much of the first half, building a 27-22 lead with 7:33 left on 16 points from Kirk.
That's when Massachusetts got its attack in gear with a 14-0 run ignited by Chaz Williams. The point guard hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 27-all. After Gordon's two foul shots, Williams had a layup to extend the margin to 31-27.
Williams added two more foul shots after a technical was called on the New Mexico bench in protesting Cullen Neal's turnover. His dad, the Lobos' coach, drew a technical foul in the tournament opener against UAB.
UAB coach Jerod Haasewas happy with the Blazers' bounce back after a disappointing, double-overtime loss to No. 19 New Mexico. He was also very relieved.
"From my standpoint, there's a ton of relief," Haase said. "That's maybe what I hate about this job is that a lot of times you feel more relief than joy."
Still, it's understandable for Haase, who couldn't be 100 percent sure how his team might react after their heartbreaking, 97-94 defeat to the Lobos when UAB held a 6-point lead in the final minute of regulation, a 5-point lead in the overtime and were tied late in the second extra period. In all three cases, New Mexico hit dramatic 3-pointers to pull out the victory.
Chad Frazier scored 32 points — he had a career high 34 Thursday in the New Mexico loss — and the Blazers took the drama out of this one in the second half with a 25-17 rally.
Haase stepped into the locker room at TD Arena shortly after Thursday's game and told his players, "It's over."
Thursday night was spent resting and focusing only on Nebraska, not what might've been.
Especially Frazier, the 6-foot-4 junior college transfer who's taken on the scoring load for UAB.
"I tell you what, we have a team that would be a hard scout because we have six, seven players who can get 20 points," Haase said. "Chad has proven he can get 30 points."
Frazier was 12 of 15 from the line. He also had seven assists, five rebounds and two blocks.
UAB (4-1) will face either Georgia or Temple in Sunday's fifth-place game.
Nebraska (3-2) will try and avoid a 0-3 run in the eight-team tournament against the Georgia-Temple loser.
Fahro Alihodzic scored 16 points while Rod Rucker had 13 points and 10 rebounds for UAB.
Terran Petteway led Nebraska with 21 points.
Frazier powered UAB in the second half. His steal of a routine inbounds pass by Nebraska led to an easy bucket to go up 50-48. Shavon Shields' basket a short time later tied it up for the final time before Frazier's foul shot put the Blazers' ahead for good. Frazier's 3-pointer with 10:37 made it 60-54 and after Petteway cut the lead in half with a three-point play, Frazier hit his fourth and final 3 to restore the margin.
Nebraska coach Tim Miles thought his team looked defeated down the stretch when the game was far from decided. "You just can't ever let up or stop, never quit," he said. "Certainly, there was a large amount of frustration that we could see on their faces."
Nebraska and UAB both hoped to recover from Charleston Classic losses.
The Cornhuskers had cut a 13-point deficit to 89-87 before falling to fast-paced Massachusetts to start the tournament with a 96-90 loss — the most points they'd scored in almost four years.
In the game that followed at TD Arena, the Blazers had their hearts broken, not one, not two, but three times by clutch 3-pointers in a double overtime loss to No. 19 New Mexico.
UAB had a six-point lead with under a minute left in regulation, a five-point lead in the last minute of overtime and were tied with the Lobos in the second OT before falling short.
UAB coach Jerod Haase said his players, exhausted and upset as they may be, had little choice but to rebound quickly and turn things around in game two.
And for much of the opening half they did, UAB building a 24-19 lead with 8:15 left in the opening period.
That's when Nebraska turned up its defense for a 15-3 run to move in front. The Blazers had five turnovers in the stretch, including on three straight possessions.
When Deverell Biggs hit his second inside shot with 4:03 left, the Cornhuskers held a 34-27 lead.
The Blazers dug in the final four minutes, keeping Nebraska off the scoreboard the rest of the period. Frazier's two foul shots with 2.4 seconds to go drew UAB to 34-31.
Will Cummings knew someone had to make a big shot for Temple and he was more than willing to step up.
Cummings' 3-pointer with 7 seconds left lifted the Owls to an 83-81 victory over Georgia at the Charleston Classic on Friday and rescued the Owls after the Bulldogs had rallied from 13 points down to move in front 81-80 on Charles Mann's driving layup moments earlier.
"As soon as I released it, I knew it was good," Cummings said.
And it brought plenty of relief to the Owls (2-3), who had lost their last three and needed something positive to carry into Sunday's final tournament game.
"It's a really good win for us," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "One we needed badly."
Temple will take on UAB for fifth place while Georgia (1-3) falls to the seventh-place game against Nebraska, hoping to avoid going 0-for-3 at TD Arena.
The Owls didn't panic in the huddle said Dalton Pepper, who led the team with a career-high 22 points. Quenton DeCosey swung the ball around to an open Cummings for his game winner.
The Bulldogs had a chance with 3.5 seconds left, but Donte Williams caught the inbounds from Brandon Morris and took a quick, long shot that bounced hard off the backboard. Mann could not re-direct the rebound and time ran out.
Georgia coach Mark Fox told his players they had time for a pass and thought Williams acted too quickly in shooting. Fox said his team needed to play improved defense so it wouldn't fall behind as it did in the opening half and not to rely on late plays to prevail. "Give them credit, at the moment of truth, their kid made a great play," he said.
Cummings finished with 17 points while Pepper made five 3-pointers and led the Owls with five assists.
DeCosey had 15 points and Daniel Dingle a career-high 12 for the Owls. Pepper was 5 of 9 on 3-pointers and led the Owls with five assists.
Kenny Gaines led Georgia with 21 points and Mann added 19.
Georgia chipped away at Temple's 45-32 halftime lead throughout the second period. The Bulldogs tied things at 71-all on Nemanja Djurisic's 3-pointer with 4:07 to go. Djurisic tied it again moments later at 73 before Cummings regained the lead for Temple with his bucket.
The Owls built their edge to 80-76 on Cummings foul shots with 1:41 left before Georgia made a final run. Gaines had a jam to cut the lead to one and set up Mann's driving layup that put the Bulldogs in front before Cummings made his big shot.
Georgia and Temple were a couple of teams desperately seeking a win. The Bulldogs had lost to rival Georgia Tech before dropping their tournament opener to Davidson of the Southern Conference.
The Owls had lost three straight since an opening night win over Big 5 rival Penn, including a 72-58 loss to Clemson on Thursday night to close day one at TD Arena.
Georgia looked like it wanted it more at first, pushing to a 15-5 lead as Temple opened ice cold as it made just one of its first seven shots. Things changed dramatically after Owls coach Fran Dunphy called a time out after Nemanja Djurisic's 3-pointer put Georgia ahead by 10.
Temple tied the game in the next three minutes as Pepper led a barrage of on-target long-range shooting by the Owls.
Pepper connected five times in a 26-5 run that put Temple ahead 31-21.
The Owls maintained their hot touch the rest of the way with Josh Brown and Daniel Dingle adding threes to build a 45-32 lead at the break.
Temple was 9 of 14 on 3-pointers the first 20 minutes while Georgia made just one of its five attempts from behind the arc.