NEW YORK — Chaz Williams scored 16 points in his homecoming to Brooklyn and made a steal in the final seconds to clinch UMass’ 77-72 win over George Washington on Thursday night in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
The 5-foot-9 junior fearlessly drove to the basket for three scores in the last 2½ minutes of a back-and-forth game. His layup with 32.5 seconds left put the Minutemen ahead 75-72. Isaiah Armwood missed a potential tying 3-pointer for the Colonials, who were 0 for 8 from behind the arc.
George Washington got the offensive rebound, but Williams stole the ball. Trey Davis hit both ends of a one-and-one with 5.5 seconds left to secure the win.
There were 14 ties and 19 lead changes. Neither team led by more than five.
Sixth-seeded UMass (20-10, 9-7) faces third-seeded Temple in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Freshman Kevin Larsen scored a career-high 17 points for 11th-seeded George Washington (13-17, 7-9).