AMHERST, Mass. (AP) -- Dante Milligan had a career-high 24 points to go with nine rebounds and seven blocked shots as No. 2 seed Massachusetts coasted past Stephen F. Austin 80-60 Tuesday night in the first round of the NIT.
The Minutemen (22-10) face Akron, which defeated Florida State 65-60 in overtime Tuesday night, in the second round. The Lumberjacks, who shared the Southland Conference regular-season championship with Lamar, closed their season at 26-6.UMass led by as many as 12 in the first half. But the Lumberjacks cut the home team's advantage to 33-25 at halftime and opened the second half on a 9-2 run to get within one at 35-34.Etienne Brower and Chris Lowe each had five points in a 12-0 UMass run that put the Minutemen up 47-34. The Minutemen dominated from there.Gary Forbes scored 19 points, while Ricky Harris added 16 for UMass.Josh Alexander led Stephen F. Alexander with 21 points and seven rebounds while Matt Kingsley and Eddie Williams each scored 10 points.The 80 points were the most the Lumberjacks gave up all season.