HARTFORD, Contact (AP) – Austin Williams scored 20 points with eight rebounds and three steals, while Hartford earned an automatic bid in his first NCAA tournament, defeating UMass Lowell 64-50 in the Eastern Conference on Saturday.
Fourth-placed Hartford were playing for the title for the second consecutive season after last year’s game against Vermont was canceled due to COVID-19. The Hawks lost to second-placed Catamounts in the semi-finals this year, making it the first time in the tournament’s history that neither of the top two has been included in the title game.
Sixth-placed UMass Lowell won the first game of the first division post-season in the opening round and also knocked out top-ranked UMBC in the semi-finals when Conor Withers equaled the tournament record of nine points.
Slowly 30 minutes later, Hartford took a 39-37 lead, the Hawks ran 18-4 with a 16-point lead. Hunter Marx scored seven points during the race, and River Hawks was left without a field goal with a score of 6:29.
“I got it eleven years ago, I said let the dream begin,” said Hartford coach John on Gallagher. “There were a lot of nightmares to get to this point. There are so many people to thank, but this program, this neighborhood we built, is so unique. Words are really hard to say. But we dance. ”
Traci Carter added 16 points and Marks finished Hartford with 14 points (15-8). Miroslav Stafl had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Obadiah Noel had 15 points and eight rebounds for UMass Lowell (11-12). Khalil Thomas added 11 points and Withers had nine points and 11 rebounds. Noel was 5 to 5 from the field, and Withers was 13 to 3 when Umas Lowell hit 29.5%, including 34 to 7 from distance.
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