- Associated Press - Saturday, February 1, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Chaz Williams was picking apart the defense, Derrick Gordon was making big baskets and Massachusetts looked every bit like a nationally ranked team.

But that was only in the second half.

And it wasn’t enough as St. Joseph’s broke away from a late tie to beat No. 21 UMass 73-68 Saturday.

“I thought we played great basketball for 20 minutes of a 40-minute game and probably the worst half of basketball we could play in the first half,” Minutemen coach Derek Kellogg said. “From missed layups to just not a lot of energy to different things, you just can’t win on the road like that.”

Led by Williams, UMass rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second half and made it 68-all in the final minute. But St. Joe’s hit five foul shots in the final 30 seconds to secure the win.

Gordon scored 21 and Williams finished with 16 points and 10 assists for the Minutemen (17-4, 4-3 Atlantic 10). UMass has lost three of four, with all three losses coming on the road.

“We’ve got to come to an agreement that we’re going to play well for 40 minutes,” Williams said. “Until then, who knows what type of team you’ll see?”

Halil Kanacevic finished with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists for St. Joe’s (15-6, 5-2), which has won 11 of 13 to jump a game ahead of UMass in the conference standings.

Ronald Roberts scored 17 and DeAndre Bembry added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks, who blew a late lead in a 66-62 loss to UMass on Jan. 8.

That didn’t happen again.

“They got us up there when we were feeling like we should have won that game,” Kanacevic said. “And it almost happened again tonight. It’s a great win.”

Williams very nearly led UMass to the come-from-behind victory. The diminutive point guard scored nine points in the final 4:19 and forced a steal and fed Gordon for a game-tying layup with 1:20 left. He made a foul shot to tie it at 68, but missed his second try.

UMass failed to convert three straight putback attempts before Chris Wilson corralled the rebound for St. Joe’s and got fouled.

“I thought we fought back and were probably a missed layup away from winning that game,” Kellogg said. “We had two 1-footers to go up two and we put them to the free throw line shortly thereafter.”

After Wilson made both shots, the Hawks forced a turnover and Papa Ndao made two more free throws with 12.6 seconds left to make it 72-68.

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