Atlantic 10 fans saw four great games at Barclays Center on Thursday, and Massachusetts and George Washington may have saved the best for last.
Two free throws from Trey Davis with 5.5 seconds to go sealed the win for the Minutemen, who advance to play Temple in Friday's Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinal.
UMass took a three-point lead into the locker room at 34-31 behind 12 first-half points from Raphiael Putney. But George Washington battled back. The Colonials went back ahead two minutes into the second half, then held that lead for all of 51 seconds.
Of course the Minutemen then ceded their advantage 40 seconds later, and the game went back and forth like this for the duration.
George Washington was finally able to edge ahead with 6:13 left in the game at 59-55, then the Colonials took a five point lead with under four minutes to go. But UMass answered with a three from Davis, to ensure the game would go down to the wire. He finished with 14 points.
Davis repeated his heroics on the next possession, following two George Washington free throws, and the Minutemen were suddenly within a point. When the Colonials turned it over in the backcourt off the UMass press, the Minutemen got the ball back and briefly retook the lead.
Typical of a game like this, the two teams traded the advantage through the final two minutes. Chaz Williams put the Minutemen ahead for good with four straight points in the final minute, before Davis hit the clinching free throws. Williams led UMass with 16 points.
The Colonials held a commanding 40-27 advantage on the boards, but their 39 percent shooting mark, including 0-9 from three, made it difficult for them to take advantage. UMass, meanwhile, shot 45 percent.