College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Massachusetts improved to 15-1 Wednesday, squeezing out a win at George Mason University, 88-87, thanks to some late-game heroics from Chaz Williams and game-high 26 points by their 5'9" senior star.
Down five points with 41 seconds left to play, Williams scored five quick points for the Minutemen while the Patriots could only muster one, but UMass still found themselves down by a point with time running out. A steal by Williams with 11 seconds left provided a breakaway chance, but Williams missed a contested layup, which was rebounded and put back by teammate Derrick Gordon for the one-point advantage.
The Patriots still had eight seconds with which to work, but could not get off a shot as time expired, sending the Patriots to their third straight Atlantic-10 loss without a win.
On the other hand, the Minutemen went to 3-0 with their first road win in conference play after topping St. Jpseph's and St. Bonaventure at home last week.
Tied for game-high scoring honors by Sherrod Wright of George Mason, Williams did much more than simply put the ball through the rim. He was 11-for-17 overall and 2-for-4 from three point range, adding a pair of free throws to his scoring total. In addition, he collected two rebounds, distributed eight assists and made five steals. It was the 14th time in 16 games that he's scored in double figures this season.
Ranked 16th in the current poll, the Minutemen have some nice wins on their resume, including victories over Boston College, New Mexico, Miami and BYU. Their only loss was to Florida State, a 60-55 defeat on December 21.
The next two weeks will be challenging for the Minutemen, as they have four of five games on the road, including conference games at Richmond and return match-ups at St. Joseph's and St. Bonaventure.