UMass was able to pressure Xavier and create turnovers for 20 minutes, it took the Minutemen a little longer to get the offense heated up. Behind 24 combined points from Chaz Williams and Raphiael Putney the Minutemen grabbed their largest lead of the half right before the buzzer, as they own a 41-29 advantage at the break.
Williams (13 points) hit 5-of-7 attempts and chipped in with six assists and three late Putney 3-pointers helped him to 11 points.
Freshmen forward Dezmine Wells led the Musketeers with 11 points but also turned the ball over five times. Point guard Tu Holloway added seven points on 4-of-4 free throw shooting but also turned the ball over, as nine of ten Xavier players recorded at least one giveaway. Overall the Musketeers turned the ball over 16 times leading to 15 Minutemen points.
The Minutemen used a huge flourish to end the half with the lead. After trailing 21-19 with 7:08 to play, the Minutemen finished the half on a 22-8 run in front of a big crowd that included former Minutemen Victor Cruz.