Keith Whitt sank two free throws with 44 seconds left to break a 61-61 tie and the University of Massachusetts went on to beat Navy, 64-61, tonight for the INBANK Classic championship at the Civic Center.
The Midshipmen (5-4) led, 37-28, with 14:16 to play. Then the Minutemen went on a 12-1 streak, tying the score at 38 on Edwin Green's layup with 10:47 left. Following a missed shot by Navy, Whitt made two free throws to give Massachusetts (5-4) its first lead, 40-38, with 10:26 left.
Navy called time to regroup, but Minuteman Craig Smith stole the ball after the timeout and made a jumper from the foul line for a 42-38 Massachusetts lead.
With 2:42 left, Willie Lawton made a 15-footer for Navy to cut the deficit to 59-57, but George Ramming's layup rebuilt the Massachusetts lead to 61-57. Lawton sank a 15-footer for the Midshipmen with 1:52 left to make it 61-59 and, after the Minutemen missed a shot, Bill Freitag sank two free throws to tie the score at 61 with 1:14 left.
Massachusetts then slowed down, looking for a good shot, and with 44 seconds left, Whitt sank two free throws. After Navy missed a shot, Minuteman Donald Russell was fouled on the ensuing possession and made one free throw with four seconds left for the final margin