Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey to face off against No. 3 Quinnipiac this weekend -

November 27, 2015

UMass men’s basketball drops first game of season to Creighton in MGM Grand Main Event finals -

November 26, 2015

UMass football prepares for final regular season game against Buffalo Friday -

November 25, 2015

UMass men’s basketball continues hot shooting in rout of Clemson Monday night -

November 24, 2015

SGA votes down letter opposing Baker’s statements on refugees -

November 24, 2015

IPO reaches out to local families to host international students for Thanksgiving -

November 24, 2015

Amherst Police Log: Nov. 20-22 -

November 24, 2015

Local Pioneer Valley food banks aim to fight hunger -

November 24, 2015

UMass club sports present petition alleging lack of resources, communication from athletic department -

November 24, 2015

UMass women’s basketball looks to get back on track in Omni Hotels Classic -

November 24, 2015

An inside look at the UMass club baseball team -

November 24, 2015

UMass men’s swimming proves victorious in Terrier Invitational, Minutewomen finish fourth -

November 24, 2015

The benefits of meditation -

November 24, 2015

In wake of Paris attacks, US should not ditch compassion -

November 24, 2015

Letter to the editor: Students for Justice in Palestine respond to a previous op-ed -

November 24, 2015

Student makes UMass history as first to perform mainstage production in wheelchair -

November 24, 2015

Graduate Employee Organization and UMass administrators meet to talk about late pay issues -

November 23, 2015

UMass Dining encourages different programs to prevent hunger in Amherst -

November 23, 2015

FBI agents explain cyber security at UMass talk -

November 23, 2015

Students present demands and tap administrators for answers, additional information at ‘answering session’ -

November 23, 2015

Chaz Williams adds yet another signature performance in UMass’ win

SPRINGFIELD — Chaz Williams may be entering the final chapter of his illustrious three-year career at Massachusetts, but he’s not done writing new stories.

Williams thrilled the 7,331 at the MassMutual Center, taking them along for a blisteringly fast-paced ride en route to scoring 32 points and 15 assists, both of which were a career-high, in UMass’ 105-96 win over Brigham Young University on Saturday.

Cade Belisle/Collegian

He navigated through traffic for the majority of the game, showing tremendous composure despite both team’s hustling up and down the court in transition at breakneck speeds. In a game with 201 combined points, 131 shots, 44 total assists and enough running to make a marathon runner tired, Williams turned the ball over just a single time.

UMass coach Derek Kellogg lauded Williams’ ability to organize teammates and effectively lead his troops in the week leading up Saturday’s matchup with BYU. For Williams, that’s top priority.

“Honestly I’m not really a big point guy,” Williams said. “I’m more impressed with the 15 assists than anything, just getting my guys involved and having them feel comfortable with playing and just being on the floor with me is more exciting for me than scoring.”

Williams didn’t wait long to assert himself on behalf of his teammates.

With eight minutes, 59 seconds to go in the first half, Williams and Cougars 6-foot-10 center Eric Mika received double-technical fouls for their respective roles in a post-whistle dustup. The altercation occurred after Minutemen forward Raphiael Putney and BYU guard Tyler Haws were tangled up on an inbound and pushing and shoving ensued.

“I think (the energy) carried over,” UMass forward Maxie Esho said. “It kinda got us fired up, I mean that’s our point guard so we want to play hard for him.”

Sampson Carter, who has played alongside Williams for three seasons, expected nothing less from his leader.

“I know what he’s capable of, that’s our point guard,” Sampson Carter said. “I know he has some fire in his heart and I know he’s not gonna back down and his energy’s so contagious. So just to see him like that, that automatically fires me up.”

Williams answered immediately, hitting a 3-pointer on the ensuing play to push the lead to eight. On the next offensive possession he muscled his way to the free throw line. And after a defensive rebound by Esho on the ensuing Cougars possession, Williams rewarded him on the next trip down the court, assisting on a layup.

It was an all-encompassing stretch for Williams, who generally thrives in games played at such a frenetic pace.

“It was a fun game,” Williams said. “And coach told us, you know he gave us a great gameplan and he allowed us to know that they’re gonna try to run with us and stay with us and if we just keep the course, UMass basketball should overtake them.”

Williams described his shooting performance as just “OK” after the game, despite missing just five shots on 9-of-14 shooting and adding nine free throws. And while he might not have impressed himself, he certainly did enough for those in attendance.

He electrified the crowd in the first half by going 3-for-3 on 3-pointers. In the second half, with BYU aggressively extending its zone defense, Williams attacked the basket, going to the line six times. As the lead surged to 10 points, then 12, maxing out at 16, the crowd buzzed every time UMass touched the ball on offense.

In a fitting moment, Williams went to the line late in the second half, his team comfortably leading. Current Boston Celtics General Manager and BYU alum Danny Ainge sat courtside on that end of the floor, watching Williams as he toed the line.

“Hey Danny, you should draft that guy,” a fan shouted in his direction. Ainge smiled and the fans laughed.

And who knows, with more performances like today’s, maybe that will become the final chapter in Williams’ winding story at UMass. But for now, armed with yet another quality victory over a nationally prominent squad, Williams is just one step closer to the Minutemen’s ultimate goal.

“We just gotta keep the foot on the gas and just keep going,” he said. “We say that it’s a target on our back, but we still have a target on everybody else’s back because we’re chasing one thing and that’s to make it the (NCAA) tournament and a national championship.”

Mark Chiarelli can be reached at and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli.

Leave A Comment