OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University's Will Sullivan had a chance to win just before time expired, but the sophomore missed a tough shot on a transition drive, as Massachusetts hung on for a 70-69 victory Wednesday night at Millett Hall.
The RedHawks' loss marked their first at home this season. MU dropped to 5-7 overall, while the Minutemen (9-3) won their sixth straight.
Allen Roberts led Miami with 21 points, which was two shy of his career high, and finished 7-of-15 from the floor, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.
"When it comes to my jump shot, I'm feeling a little bit more boost in my knee and I'm able to explode a little bit more off the ground now," the junior guard said. "I don't know if that's just the season coming along or just me working on it."
UMass' Chaz Williams hit the game-winner, a runner in the lane, with 1:12 to go.
Quinten Rollins had an opportunity to tie the game with 44.3 seconds remaining, but missed the first shot of a 1-and-1 at the line. But even so, the RedHawks still had a chance to win it at the end, as they corralled a rebound with 10 seconds left.
"I had an opportunity to call a timeout when we got the rebound down the stretch right there, but decided not to," MU coach John Cooper said. "Reggie (Johnson) got the rebound and they were in transition defense, so I thought there was an opportunity for us to get a pretty good look and we got right to the backboard."
Cooper continued, "Will just missed it, but he made a lot of plays in the game that kept us in it, so I'll take that play every time."
Sullivan finished with eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.
The Minutemen's superior size and length effected Miami throughout the game, including Sullivan's final shot attempt. UMass outrebounded the RedHawks 48-32.
"Their ability with their length was sensational," Roberts said. "I really didn't expect them to be that long in the perimeter and the post. ... We had to work on adjusting our shots and they deflected some passes with their length and they obviously could get rebounds. Their length was an issue when we got inside in the paint."
One bright spot for Miami down low was Drew McGhee, who had 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting. He also added four rebounds and two assists.
"I had a low-point in the beginning of the season," McGhee said. "I would say not even a slump, but a coma. But, these last few games they've been falling a lot better than they were the first few games of the season and it's feeling good. I just hope they continue to keep falling."
Miami was outscored 32-22 in the paint, but shot 42.6 percent from the field (26-of-61). The hosts were 7-of-25 from downtown and converted 10-of-14 free throws.
Raphiael Putney led UMass in scoring with 20 points. The Minutemen finished shooting 39.1 percent from the field and 33.3 from deep. They were 5-of-8 from the charity stripe.
Will Felder scored 10 points and had four rebounds, while Geovonie McKnight and Johnson both tallied six points.
Trailing 7-3 early on, Roberts heated up from beyond the arc, hitting three treys in just more than three minutes to give Miami a 16-14 lead at the 12:03 mark of the first half. Layups by Reggie Johnson and Will Felder capped off the host's 14-3 run to make it 20-15.
The Minutemen, however, responded with a late run of their own after Roberts and Drew McGhee both picked up their second fouls. UMass finished the half on a 15-6 run and led 37-29 at the break. Jesse Morgan scored UMass' final seven points of the opening half.
In the second half, neither team led by more than three in the final 18 minutes.
The RedHawks continue their four-game homestand and open Mid-American Conference play against Northern Illinois Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m.