No. 20 Massachusetts 80, Northern Illinois 54: Cady Lalanne scored 17 points as the Minutemen remained unbeaten by defeating the visiting Huskies.
Lalanne was 6-of-10 from the field and 5-of-7 from the foul line for the Minutemen, who are 9-0 for the first time since their Final Four season of 1995-96. Raphiael Putney and Clyde Santee each scored 13 points and Chaz Williams notched 12 points and seven assists.
Dontel Highsmith scored 10 points and Pete Rakocevic had nine points to lead the Huskies (3-5). Aksel Bolin and Daveon Balls contributed eight points apiece.The Minutemen stormed out to an 11-2 advantage behind three straight 3-pointers from Putney and led by 14 on three occasions before the Huskies capitalized on sloppy play by Massachusetts to get within nine points with 4:15 remaining. Putney and Carter scored to push the lead to 13 before Balls and Williams traded 3-pointers to produce a 40-28 score at halftime.The lead hovered around 10 points over the first six minutes of the second half before the Minutemen slowly pulled away. Williams hit a 3-pointer for a 55-38 cushion at the 12:24 mark and nailed another about four minutes later for a 21-point advantage before Massachusetts emptied its bench.GAME NOTEBOOK: Williams had three points on 1-of-5 shooting and five assists in the first half. ... The Minutemen had a 24-15 edge in rebounding in the first half and finished with 41 rebounds to the Huskies' 27. ... F Maxie Esho had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Minutemen, who were 9-of-19 from 3-point range.