UMass downs Fordham 80-76 in A-10 opener

The Associated Press

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) Chaz Williams scored 20 points, including Massachusetts' last six points in the game's final 2 minutes, to lead the Minutemen over Fordham 80-76 on Thursday night in the Atlantic-10 Conference opener for both teams.

Terrell Vinson added 14 points and 14 boards, while Raphiael Putney had 10 points and 10 rebounds for UMass (12-3, 1-0). Freddie Riley had 13 points and Jesse Morgan 12 for UMass, which has now won a season-high six straight since a Dec. 3 loss at Miami.

In a back-and-forth contest, Alberto Estwick's jumper put the Rams ahead 40-39 with 16:59 left to play. But a Putney dunk started a 19-4 run for the Minutemen, and they led the rest of the way.

Fordham pulled within 74-70 with 2:24 left, but Williams took over from there to seal it for UMass.

Branden Frazier led Fordham (7-7, 0-1) with 19 points.

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