No. 22 UMass crushes Northern Illinois

By
Updated: December 14, 2013

Amherst, MA (SportsNetwork.com) – Cady Lalanne scored 17 points and No. 22
Massachusetts pulled away in the second half en route to an 80-54 rout of
Northern Illinois that kept the Minutemen unbeaten.

Raphiael Putney and Clyde Santee each added 13 points for the Minutemen (9-0),
who extended the program’s best start to a season since the 1995-96 squad
opened with 26 consecutive wins on the way to a Final Four appearance that was
later vacated.

Dontel Highsmith paced Northern Illinois (3-5) with 10 points, the lone Huskie
in double figures.

UMass led nearly wire-to-wire, though a sloppy beginning the second half
enabled the Huskies to pull within 41-33 on a Highsmith layup with 16:24 left
to play.

The Minutemen turned the ball over four times over the initial five minutes of
the period and didn’t make a second-half field goal until Trey Davis buried a
3-pointer with 13:33 to go. Lalanne then came up with a steal on the other end
which led to a Maxie Esho dunk, capping an 8-0 run that put Massachusetts
ahead by a 52-35 margin.

A 7-2 spurt — ignited by a Chaz Williams three and ending with a pair of Esho
baskets — not long afterward extended the Minutemen’s margin to 67-44 with
under seven minutes remaining. Northern Illinois never got closer than 19
points down the rest of the way.

Putney got UMass off to an excellent start, draining three consecutive triples
during an 11-0 surge after the Huskies recorded the game’s first bucket. The
lead was 14 points following a Putney dunk that put NIU in a 19-5 hole eight
minutes in.

The Minutemen stayed in front comfortably throughout the first half, with
Williams sinking a 3-pointer in the final minute to send Massachusetts into
the break owning a 40-28 advantage. Lalanne and Putney each netted 13 points
during the session, with the duo shooting a combined 11-of-16 from the floor.

Game Notes

UMass tied a season best with nine made 3-pointers and outrebounded the
Huskies by a 41-27 count … Williams and Esho each finished with 12 points
… Northern Illinois shot just 37 percent overall and went 9-of-17 from the
foul line … The Minutemen have won all three matchups between the schools,
including a 64-57 decision in DeKalb last season.