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By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange January 4, 2014 9:20 PM
AMHERST, Mass. -- The Massachusetts Express continues to roll along. The 23rd-ranked Minutemen ran their record to 12-1 with a 73-65 nonconference victory over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday night. UMass wasn't great but was good enough, trailing only 4-0 and 4-2 at the start in improving to 5-0 at home. Guard Chaz Williams scored 18 points, dished out eight assists and had three steals, and four Minutemen scored in double figures. Starting center Cady Lalanne scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds while forward Maxie Esho and guard Trey Davis combined for 26 points off the bench. Esho scored 15 and grabbed seven rebounds. Davis scored six straight points in the first half and then had five in a row to help put the game away in the second while Esho continued an impressive run with his sixth double-figure scoring effort off the bench in the last seven games. The RedHawks fell to 4-7 but are 4-3 since an 0-4 start that included a loss to Division III Wilmington. Forward Will Felder led Miami with 22 points and seven rebounds, while guard Geovonie McKnight had 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds. UMass, which beat Providence in overtime a week ago, was playing the second game of a four-game homestand. It was the second straight season that the Minutemen defeated the RedHawks. UMass survived on a missed last-second layup by Miami's Will Sullivan almost exactly a year earlier. Turning the ball over on its first four possessions, UMass took 2:15 to score. But back-to-back long 3-pointers by forward Raphiael Putney and Williams triggered an 11-0 run and the Minutemen went on to a 21-12 lead with 8:43 left in the half. Lalanne scored seven straight points and Williams added eight. The visitors hung in and got the deficit down to two. They fell behind by nine again when Davis hit two 3-pointers in 36 seconds. But, trailing 36-27, Miami held UMass scoreless the rest of the way and scored the final five points to crawl back to within four at the break. NOTES: Miami G Willie Moore was playing in his second game for his new team. The transfer from Oregon was suspended for the first nine games for selling Oregon team gear last season. He is coming off the bench. ... Both teams open their league schedules Wednesday night, with UMass hosting Saint Joseph's in the Atlantic 10 and Miami going to Central Michigan for a Mid-American Conference game. ... UMass came into the game with all five starters averaging in double figures in scoring.