In a battle of UMass, it was the Minutemen, who hail for Amherst, that got the last laugh on Friday evening.
UMass, sparked by a double-double from Malik Hines, fended off the UMass Lowell River Hawks by the final score of 74-69.
With 4:12 to go, Hines connected on a layup to snap a 58-58 tie and shoot UMass up by two.
The basket ignited an 8-0 Minutemen run – that spanned roughly two minutes – as UMass went ahead 66-58.
Shawn Jones sliced the River Hawks’ deficit to one, 68-67, on a pair of free throws with 31 ticks remaining. But, UML was forced to foul and C.J. Anderson connected on both attempts from the charity stripe to extend the UMass lead to 70-67.
The Minutemen would then buckle down on defense, forcing a River Hawks turnover, which Unique McLean turned into points on a dunk to put this one away.
Matt Harris led the UML attack with a game-high 19 points.
For UMass, Hines pumped in 11 points and snatched 13 boards and McLean and Rashaan Holloway added 12 points apiece.
Up next for UML is a matchup at home with UMass Boston on Sunday at 1 p.m.
UMass will hit the road for a date with Harvard (1-0) on Sunday at 2 p.m.