Gordon Caps Another UMass Thriller, 88-87 Over George Mason
Jan. 15, 2014
Chaz Williams scored 26 points and Derrick Gordon made the game-winning layup with 8.1 seconds remaining to lift No. 16/15 Massachusetts to another come-from-behind win, 88-87, at George Mason Wednesday night.
UMass (15-1, 3-0 Atlantic 10) trailed by five with 41.3 seconds left but went to the team's late-game bread and butter of defensive stops and turnovers with the game on the line. The Minutemen forced a pair of turnovers and made quick scores by getting to the rim and free throw line with Williams' lightning-quick ball-handling.
Trailing by one with 17.7 on the clock, Williams stole the ball from Sherrod Wright when he tried to split a double team. William's initial shot in the lane was short. Maxie Esho's put back bounced off Johnny Williams' head and right to Gordon, who laid it in for the 88-87 lead.
The Patriots were out of timeouts and got the ball across half court. Esho then poked the ball away from Bryon Allen from behind where the ensuing scrum gave the Minutemen the ball on the tie-up.
The win marked No. 100 for head coach Derek Kellogg, who joins Jack Leaman and his mentor John Calipari as the only coaches to reach that milestone in school history. The win was even more special for Kellogg as his first full-time job was as an assistant at Mason under Jim Larranaga.
Williams added eight assists, five steals and a pair of rebounds as moved into 13th place on the UMass scoring list, passing Julius Erving and Marcus Camby on Wednesday.
UMass had been in a shooting funk of late but shot 55 percent, its highest since a 64 percent game at Ohio six games ago. The Minutemen also finished with nine steals for the third time in the last four games.
GMU (7-10, 0-3) led by as many as eight with 11:38 left. Wright also had 16 points and Allen added 21 for the Patriots, who shot 44 percent in the game.
UMass will continue on its three-game road trip this weekend when it faces Elon in a non-conference matchup at 7 p.m. at Alumni Gym in Elon, N.C.