DEKALB, Ill. -- Maxie Esho scored 14 points as Massachusetts held off Northern Illinois 64-59 Saturday for its fifth straight victory.
Massachusetts broke open a close game by outscoring the Huskies 12-2 over the final 5:17 of the first half to take a 36-23 lead.
The lead remained in double figures for most of the second half until Northern Illinois went on a 12-4 run to pull within 55-52 with 4:03 remaining. The Huskies got within two, 61-59, when Nader hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left, but the Minutemen hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute to secure the win.
The second annual Gavitt Tipoff Games, eight games between members of the Big East and Big Ten to be played Nov. 14-18, will feature Villanova at Purdue in the opener.
Michael Lewis is leaving his assistant coaching job at Butler to take the same position at Nebraska under Tim Miles.
College basketball fans should be excited about next season's Jimmy V Classic, an event that will feature Duke's heralded freshman class.