UMass notebook: Chaz Williams struggles, battles injuries in UMass loss to George Mason

Friday, March 14, 2014
AMHERST — As the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team tried to pull out another second half comeback that it’s built its record on this season, the player usually leading it was on the bench.

Senior Chaz Williams struggled throughout, shooting 3 for 15, and finished with eight points and six assists in Wednesday’s 91-80 loss to George Mason at the Mullins Center. After one drive to the basket in the second half, he stood up and held his lower back while walking gingerly.

UMass confirmed after the game that Williams, who missed the press conference to get treatment, was battling injuries.

“I don’t think he played his best game, but he’s got a few nagging injuries we’re going to get looked at to make sure he’s healthy for this final stretch run,” Kellogg said. “I don’t really know (the extent). He was grabbing his hip.”

ATLANTIC 10 PICTURE — The loss dropped UMass to 6-4 in the Atlantic 10, which puts them in sixth place behind Saint Joseph’s and Richmond, who are each a half game ahead at 6-3. The top four teams get byes into the A-10 tournament quarterfinals.

NEXT UP — UMass, which lost its first home game of the season, will try to inflict a similar fate on George Washington, Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Smith Center in the nation’s capital. The Colonials are 19-5 overall and 7-3 in the Atlantic 10. GW, which lost to Virginia Commonwealth on the road Wednesday, is 12-0 at home this year.

IHEDIGBO ADDRESSES CROWD — Former UMass and Amherst Regional football player James Ihedigbo attended the game and addressed the crowd prior to tipoff.

The former New York Jet and New England Patriot has spent the last two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and helped them to a Super Bowl win last year. After starting most of the 2013 season at safety, Ihedigbo is a free agent.

MISCELLANEOUS — UMass is shooting 28.4 percent from 3-point range in losses this season. ... GMU’s 91 points were the most any opponent has scored against UMass in the Mullins Center this season. ... Trey Davis’ 20 points were a career high for UMass.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage