Massachusetts Holds Off Northern Illinois For Fifth-Straight Win
Dec. 29, 2012
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.
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.