Men's Hoops Blocks Rhode Island, 73-68
Feb. 9, 2014
KINGSTON, R.I. - Chaz Williams scored 21 points with seven assists and Derrick Gordon had 11 and nine rebounds as Massachusetts ended the game on an 18-6 run for a 73-68 road victory over Rhode Island on Sunday.
After UMass tied the game at 55 midway through the second period, URI scored seven-straight to claim a 62-55 lead with 8:35 to play. That was the Rams' largest lead of the contest.
From there, Williams orchestrated the UMass comeback as he was responsible for the Minutemen's next 11 points with nine of his own and an assist. His jumper in the paint with 3:31 put UMass ahead for good, 66-65.
Gordon followed with a layup to go up 68-65 and then Raphiael Putney made one of the biggest plays of the game. The Minutemen turned the ball over in the lane and T.J. Buchanan appeared to have an uncontested layup with 40 seconds left to cut the margin to one, but Putney sprinted from the left wing around Buchanan in the lane and pinned the ball against the backboard for the team's season-high 10th block.
Williams was fouled when he got the ball across the timeline and extended the margin to 70-65 with two free throws. URI's E.C. Matthews made a 3-pointer before Trey Davis iced the game with three free throws in the final 14 seconds.
UMass (19-4, 6-3 Atlantic 10) beat the Rams for the seventh time in the last nine tries and snapped a three-game road losing skid. The Minutemen shot 53 percent and had a 36-27 edge on the glass.
Putney finished with 11 points and four blocks - a game after a career-high five swats against La Salle. Sampson Carter had nine points and Davis finished with eight, including one 3-pointer that extended his streak of games with a made triple to 15.
URI (11-13, 2-7) shot 42 percent and was led by Matthews' 24 points. Xavier Munford had 19 and was the only other Ram to score more than seven.
The opening 20 minutes had seven ties and eight lead changes, with 14 ties and 12 lead changes in the game overall. URI built a 29-22 lead with 5:34 on the clock in the first half before UMass used a 6-0 run late in the period to claim a 36-35 lead at the break.
UMass returns home to face George Mason on Wednesday night. Tip-off at the Mullins Center is set for 7:00 p.m.