Sports

UMass beats Miami of Ohio, 70-69 for sixth straight win

OXFORD, Ohio — Raphiael Putney scored 20 points and Chaz Williams made a late, go-ahead jumper to lift Massachusetts over Miami (Ohio) 70-69 Wednesday night in nonconference action.

Jesse Morgan had 12 and Williams finished with 10 for UMass (9-3), which has won six straight games.

The Minutemen also secured their seventh straight road victory, the program’s longest road streak since the 1997-98 season, and handed the Red Hawks their first home loss on the season.

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In addition to his team-high 20 points, Putney collected 9 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists.

Defensively, Maxie Esho was a standout, pulling down nine rebounds and adding four blocks.

“The 1-point games are becoming old hat for the Minutemen,’’ said coach Derek Kellogg. “I thought we played a better first half, obviously, played better defense, but they came out in the second half and made some threes, we had a couple of things that didn’t exactly go our way, and we were in a dogfight from there on out.’’

UMass led, 37-29, at intermission but watched Miami (5-7) open the second half on a 9-2 run, cutting its deficit to 39-38.

The hosts hit five of their first six shots after the break, tying the game at 42.

From there, the teams battled through eight lead changes and five ties until Williams’s jumper gave UMass the lead for good, 70-69, with 1:12 left.

Miami had a chance to tie but Quinten Rollins missed a free throw and Will Sullivan could not convert a layup as time expired.

The RedHawks shot 2 for 9 over the final six minutes.

Allen Roberts led Miami with 21 points.

Will Felder and Drew McGhee each scored 10 points for the RedHawks.

Trailing, 61-57, UMass pulled closer on a Putney triple. The Minutemen took a 65-63 lead when Trey Davis canned a 3-pointer.

The hosts stormed back and regained the lead before Putney’s fourth 3-pointer gave UMass a 68-67 lead with 3:46 left.

The Red Hawks took the lead again on a pair of free throws 20 seconds later and neither team scored again until Williams’s winning layup.

UMass won the rebounding battle, 48-32, including a huge 17-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

The Minutemen will be back in action on Saturday when they host Eastern Michigan at the Mullins Center to close out their nonconference schedule.

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