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Sampson Carter delivers for Minutemen in Cady Lalanne’s absence

The biggest of those points came in the final two minutes of a 72-66 win over Northeastern.

With the Minutemen leading by two points, Reggie Spencer blocked Maxie Esho’s shot, but Carter grabbed the rebound on the left block and laid the ball in to put UMass up 66-62 with 57 seconds left. He added four free throws in the last 30 seconds to help seal the victory.

“Some guys are taking advantage of playing extra minutes. Sampson’s been on me since he’s been here about playing extra minutes. He’s got his opportunity. We’ll roll with it and see how things play out,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “He know how to play and has a good feel for the game. I’m not surprised. I actually expect a little more from him.”

NEXT UP — The Minutemen are off until Dec. 15 when they host Elon at noon at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

“We have finals. I just want to make sure everyone does what they’re supposed to,” said Kellogg, who hoped to make progress on the court at the same time. “On the basketball front, I don’t think our press is where it needs to be. I don’t think our offensive transition is quite as fast and as quick (as it needs to be). We’re going to get in better basketball shape as the season goes on. ... We have a ton of room for growth with this team.”

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH — In all seven games this season, UMass (4-3) has trailed at the final media timeout with under four minutes left. The Minutemen are 3-0 when leading at halftime.

WILLIAMS FREE THROW WOES — Junior point guard Chaz Williams has yet to find his stroke from the free throw line. After shooting .79 percent last year, he’s at just .68 percent this year after making 6-of-9 attempts against NU.

MISCELLANEOUS — UMass has won five consecutive true road games dating back to the NIT last season. ... Freshmen Tyler Bergantino (two minutes) and Trey Davis (five minutes) each played briefly in the first half. ... Senior Terrell Vinson fouled out for the second time this season. ... Former Minutemen Al Skinner, Luke Bonner and Matt Pennie were all among the 2,441 fans. ... Despite it being a Northeastern home game, the crowd was decidedly pro-UMass. ... This was the third of four games between UMass and Northeastern in December. The schools split a two-game hockey series on Friday and Saturday. The women’s basketball team will play at Northeastern on Dec. 22.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/GazetteUMass. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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Chaz Williams, Jesse Morgan lead UMass at Northeastern

Thursday, January 3, 2013

BOSTON — With just under two minutes left in a tied game, Chaz Williams caught the outlet pass from Raphiael Putney, stepped on the gas and took off between two Northeastern defenders. As Demetrius Pollard stepped in to foul him, the University of Massachusetts guard contorted his body left and shot the ball with his left hand behind his head. …

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