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UMass holds off Northern Illinois 64-59


DEKALB, Ill. (AP) - Maxie Esho scored 14 points as Massachusetts held off Northern Illinois 64-59 Saturday for its fifth straight victory.

Chaz Williams added 12 points for the Minutemen (8-3), Freddie Riley had 11 and Terrell Vinson 10.

Abdel Nader led Northern Illinois (2-10) with 15 points and nine rebounds. Aksel Bolin added 11 points and Akeem Springs had 10.

Massachusetts broke open a close game by outscoring the Huskies 12-2 over the final 5:17 of the first half to take a 36-23 lead.

The lead remained in double figures for most of the second half until Northern Illinois went on a 12-4 run to pull within 55-52 with 4:03 remaining. The Huskies got within two, 61-59, when 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.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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