In a back-and-forth game in which UMass trailed for most of the first thirty five minutes, Chaz Williams and Raphaiel Putney teamed up to ensure the Minutemen would stay undefeated at home. The duo scored 21 of the team's final 25 points to end the game, as UMass (8-3) overcame an 11-point second half deficit in the annual Hall of Fame Showcase game to beat Siena (3-6) 82-78.
Williams finished with a team-high 22 points and six assists and added four rebounds and three steals in 35 minutes. The sophomore point guard had 20 points in the second half alone including six points in the final minute.
Sharp shooter guard Freddie Riley had another big first half with 11 first half points and finished with 20 points. Riley connected on six 3-pointers, matching a career-high, with the final trey ending a UMass 17-5 run that got the team back into the game. Putney was the third Minutemen player in double figures with 13 points.
Saints forward O.D. Anisoke had another huge game with 22 points and 14 rebounds, including six on the offensive end. Kyle Downey led Siena with 23 points in their sixth loss in seven games. Freshmen point guard Evan Hymes chipped in 16 points and seven assists for the Saints but was outplayed down the stretch by Williams.
Trailing 49-38 with 16:45 to play, UMass went on a 17-5 run to take their first lead in almost 20 minutes behind the shooting of Williams and Riley. The guards scored all but two of the points on the run, including four threes, three of them coming from Riley. Although Riley would fail to score after the run ended, his three with 12:12 remaining gave UMass a 55-54 lead and the momentum for the rest of the game.
The game would tip back-and-forth for the next nine minutes before Williams took control. Over the final 3:35 of the game, UMass outscored Siena 13-8 with Williams scoring 11 of the 13 points.
UMass will be back in action next Saturday night at 7 p.m. when they host Quinnipiac.