Release: March 8, 2009
With BU clinging to a 68-67 lead and UNH setting up a potential game-winning shot in the closing 13 seconds, Rivera jumped into the passing lane just inside mid-court, stole the pass and raced to the basket before soaring for the jam in front of a frenzied BU student section. Junior guard Emanuel Mayben added two free throws with 6.6 seconds left to complete BU's 10-0 scoring run to end the game.
Wildcats led 67-62 with 2:02 left before Rivera started the comeback
by nailing a three-pointer. Senior forward Reggie
Fuller grabbed an offensive rebound and his putback and ensuing
free throw gave the Bearcats a 68-67 lead with 1:18 left. Mayben
was called for a charge with 18 seconds left, however, giving
UNH one final possession. But Rivera, who scored a game-high
26 points, rescued the Bearcats with his magical play.
The second half was tight as neither team led by more than five points. There were 16 lead changes and 13 ties in the game.
Rivera scored 17 of his 26 points after intermission, and also had eight rebounds and three steals. Mayben produced 19 points and three steals, and junior guard Malik Alvin added 10 points. Fuller wound up with a workmanlike nine points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes. Mayben had two key plays late in the game. When the momentum had swung to UNH after a three-pointer, Mayben dropped in a leaning 14-footer with 6:01 left and his free throw completed a three-point play that tied the game at 57. He then sank three free throws after being fouled attempting a three-pointer with 3:43 left and BU trailing 61-59.
In the first half, BU used an 11-0 run to build a 20-10 lead but UNH responded with a 10-0 run to even the score at 20. The Wildcats hit five three-pointers in the half, and made 4-of-4 free throws in the final 52 seconds to carry a 36-34 lead into intermission. Rivera led BU with nine points and seven boards in the first half. But the Bearcats hit just 2-of-8 from beyond the arc.
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