Men's Basketball

Massachusetts Holds Off Northern Illinois For Fifth-Straight Win

Maxie Esho had a career-high five dunks on Saturday.

Maxie Esho had a career-high five dunks on Saturday.

Dec. 29, 2012

Box Score |  Notes

DEKALB, Ill. -- Maxie Esho scored a season-high 14 points to lead four players in double figures as Massachusetts defeated Northern Illinois, 64-59, at the NIU Convocation Center Saturday.

UMass (8-3) won its fifth-consecutive game overall and third road contest while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 71 percent from the free throw line.

Chaz Williams had 12 points, Freddie Riley added 11 off the bench and Terrell Vinson surpassed 1,000 career points with 10.

UMass scored 12-straight points late in the first half and took a 36-23 lead into the break. Esho had 11 and Riley netted eight as the duo came up big while Williams, Jesse Morgan and Vinson ? UMass? leading scorers ? were saddled with foul trouble and a combined 13 points.

The lead remained in double figures for most of the second half until NIU went on a 12-4 run to trim the margin to 55-52 with 4:03 remaining. The Huskies got within two, 61-59, when Abdel Nader hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left, but the Minutemen hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final minute to secure the win.

UMass will now play at Miami (Ohio) on Wednesday, Jan. 2 before returning home to play host to Eastern Michigan on Jan. 5.



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