River Hawks Post Dramatic OT Victory in Home Opener

November 11, 2018

UMass Lowell guard Alex Rivera (3), the Lowell native playing his first college game, is guarded by Wagner's Devin Liggeons in Saturday's matchup at the Costello Athletic center, won by UML in overtime. SUN/Julia Malakie Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

LOWELL -- Sophomore Obadiah Noel scored 17 points to help propel the UMass Lowell men’s basketball team to a thrilling 88-84 overtime victory against Wagner in the squad’s home opener on Saturday.

“This was a great college basketball game in a really fun, intense environment, so I’m happy for my guys,” said UML coach Pat Duquette. “These guys made enough good plays down the stretch to win the game, but I thought Wagner did a really good job. Overall, it was good to get our first win here at home in front of a really good crowd.”

Both teams are 1-1.

Trailing by three with 45 seconds remaining in regulation in a game that featured 14 lead changes, senior Ryan Jones tossed an alley-oop up to Noel for an impressive reverse dunk that gave the River Hawks the momentum they needed to knot the score at 73-73 and force OT.

In the extra period, redshirt-junior Christian Lutete and freshman Lowell native Alex Rivera drained back-to-back threes to create a two-possession buffer. The Seahawks were able to cut the difference to just one on two occasions, but Lutete pulled down a vital rebound and sank a pair of free throws in the final seconds to secure the victory.

Rivera, making his UMass Lowell debut, finished with 14 points and five rebounds. The guard and former Lowell High star made 6-of-11 shots in 30 minutes of action. He scored five in overtime.

As a team, the River Hawks shot 47.6 percent from the floor. Jones boasted a career-high eight assists, while Lutete recorded his second straight double-double with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Senior Josh Gantz rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points.

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