- Associated Press - Sunday, January 26, 2014

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - Fordham coach Tom Pecora isn’t about to listen to excuses for his team’s rough start in Atlantic-10 play.

Chaz Williams had 18 points and eight assists and No. 13 Massachusetts rebounded from a loss earlier this week with a 90-52 victory over the Rams on Sunday.

“I’m tired of saying we’re inexperienced,” Pecora said. “No complaining, no excuses, no regrets. We’ve got to get better. This is a tremendous league, but we have an opportunity to get better by going to VCU Wednesday and you can see how thrilled I am about that.”

Raphiael Putney and Trey Davis both had 13 points and Maxie Esho had 10 points and six rebounds for the Minutemen (17-2, 4-1 A-10), who lost at Richmond on Wednesday.

The player that hurt Fordham the most, though, was Williams, who transferred from Hofstra after his freshman season when Pecora was the coach of the Pride.

“I think he’s just developed tremendously,” Pecora said. “As you all know I had him as a freshman. His ability to involve everyone and basically to be a surgeon, with a great quarterback and the great length he has around him.”

Chris Whitehead led the Rams (8-11, 1-5) with 13 points and Branden Frazier had 12. It was Fordham’s seventh loss in eight games coming off a win against George Mason.

The Rams shot just 30.5 percent (18 of 59) from the field and missed 21 of 27 on 3-point attempts.

“We weren’t able to, for whatever reason, get the ball consistently to the rim,” Pecora said. “In the first five minutes of the second half, they come out - boom, game over.”

UMass broke the game open by scoring the first 17 points of the second half.

Fordham guard Jon Severe, who leads all Division I freshmen in scoring at 20.9 points per game, was held to seven points.

UMass combined a swarming fullcourt press along with tough halfcourt man-to-man defense to take its largest lead of the season, 40-24 at halftime.

The Minutemen turned it into a rout with its run to start the second half. Putney opened the run with a 3 and Williams nailed one in transition from the left wing as they went ahead 57-24 on Derrick Gordon’s short jumper 4 1-2 minutes into the second half.

The Rams finally ended the run on Mandell Thomas’ 3-pointer 30 seconds later.

The Minutemen cleared the bench for most of the final 10 minutes and gave some reserves time to join in the fun with 3-pointers and crowd-pleasing fastbreak baskets.

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