Chaz Williams continues to reach points, assists milestones for Minutemen
AMHERST — Because University of Massachusetts junior point guard Chaz Williams reached his latest milestones in Saturday’s 83-82 heart-breaking loss to Temple, little was made of them after the game.
But Williams added to his noteworthy accomplishments as a Minuteman with his 16-point, 13-assist effort.
He now has 1,004 points in a UMass uniform, making him the school’s 44th player to reach 1,000.
Williams is one of 10 Minutemen to total that 1,000 points in any two consecutive seasons joining Jim McCoy, Julius Erving, Monty Mack, Ricky Harris, Lou Roe, Lorenzo Sutton, Marcus Camby, Clarence Hill and Gary Forbes.
Only Williams, McCoy and Erving scored 1,000 points in their first two years at UMass. Williams has 1,329 total points in his career, including his freshman year at Hofstra.
None of the previous nine players to achieve the 1,000 points in two seasons also collected 400 career assists, a milestone Williams also cleared Saturday. He is just the eighth player in school history to reach that mark.
Williams’ 13 assists Saturday are a Mullins Center record and just two shy of the school record.
His 176 assists this season is the eighth best single-season total at UMass. If he can maintain his 7.33 assists per game average, it would be the best single-season average in school history.
SERIES HISTORY — Temple’s win Saturday means the Owls won the all-time Atlantic 10 series between the two schools 44-21. Temple is leaving the A-10 to join the Big East next season.
VINSON MILESTONE — Terrell Vinson’s nine points Saturday allowed him to move up four spots on the UMass career points list.
His 1,154 puts him at No. 27, passing Will Herndon and Lari Ketner (each had 1,148), Roger Twitchell (1,151) and Chris Lowe (1,152). Next up is Rafer Giles (1,163).
O’BRIEN’S ODD JOURNEY BACK TO AMHERST— If Jake O’Brien had not broken his foot against UMass in 2010, he would not have been able to score 10 points against the Minutemen Saturday.
O’Brien was a junior big man at Boston University when he broke a bone in his right foot in a 71-54 loss to UMass at the Mullins Center on Dec. 31. The injury forced the America East Player of the Year candidate to have two surgeries, one that cost him the rest of that season and a second that forced him to redshirt in 2011-12.
Because he completed his degree at BU and had a year of eligibility left, he was eligible to take advantage of the NCAA’s fifth-year transfer rule that allows players to move to another school without sitting out.
He had planned to stay at Boston University until America East decided to bar the Terriers from their conference tournament because they are leaving for the Patriot League next year. So O’Brien transferred to Temple, allowing him to score 10 critical points for the Owls.
Adding to the odd set of circumstances, Anthony Gurley scored his 1,000th point in a UMass uniform during the game in which O’Brien was injured. And in O’Brien’s return to the Mullins Center, Williams did the same.
MISCELLANEOUS – Temple had two Amherst Regional graduates with UMass ties on its bench. Former Minuteman walk-on Dwayne Killings is in his second year as an Owl assistant coach. Pete Lappas, the son of former UMass coach Steve Lappas, is in his first year as a graduate assistant.
Daniel Dingle, the younger brother of former Minuteman standout Dana Dingle is a freshman forward for Temple, but did not appear in the game.
The game was the Owls’ fifth straight to be decided by one point, and the third of those that they won.
Matt Vautour can be reached at email@example.com. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at @GazetteUMass.
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