No. 22 Minutemen beat Bobcats, 83-71
Massachusetts guard Derrick Gordon, front left, dives for a loose ball against Ohio in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Athens, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ty Wright)
Massachusetts forward Raphiael Putney (34) goes in for the layup past Ohio forward Jon Smith (24) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Athens, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ty Wright)
Ohio forward Maurice Ndour (5) goes in for the layup past Massachusetts forward Raphiael Putney (34) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Athens, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ty Wright)
ATHENS, Ohio — Maxie Esho registered 16 points and 10 rebounds, Chaz Williams had 11 points and 11 assists and No. 22 Massachusetts remained unbeaten with an 83-71 non-conference men’s basketball victory over Ohio on Wednesday night.
Sampson Carter added 14 points, including eight straight in the second half, for the Minutemen (10-0), who shot 60.4 percent from the field (32 of 53) and led by as many as 19 points.
Maurice Ndour scored 16 points for Ohio (7-3), which made just five of 24 attempts from 3-point range (20.8 percent).
Nick Kellogg added 12 points for the Bobcats, who were playing their first home game against a ranked opponent since 1997.
Carter made all three of his 3-point attempts as the Minutemen went 9 of 14 from beyond the arc (64.3 percent).
Derrick Gordon scored 13 points and Raphiael Putney added 11 for UMass, which led by as many as 13 points in the first half and was up 45-34 at halftime. Putney had all of his points before halftime and Williams had 10 in the opening 20 minutes.
The Minutemen shot 65 percent from the field in the first half while the Bobcats shot 42 percent including going just 1 of 11 from beyond the arc.
Ohio, which finished with a 38-37 rebound advantage, cut its deficit to 53-47 with 16 minutes remaining, but UMass scored nine consecutive points — six by Esho — to pull away.
UMass heads to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday to face Florida State at 2 p.m. in the Metro PCS Orange Bowl Classic.