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.
“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.