- Associated Press - Saturday, January 18, 2014

ELON, N.C. (AP) - Elon embraced the opportunity to take on a nationally ranked opponent in its own gym.

The task against No. 16 Massachusetts was just too tall. The Minutemen controlled the interior and slipped away with an 84-74 victory Saturday night.

“It was an incredible event,” Elon coach Matt Matheny said. “We had a tremendous crowd with a great atmosphere. It was an incredible opportunity. UMass is nationally ranked for a reason.”

Massachusetts guard Chaz Williams scored all 20 of his points in the second half as UMass held off several Elon rallies.

Cady Lalanne scored 16 of his 23 points in the first half as the Minutemen (16-1) won their sixth a row game in a row. This outcome spoiled the occasion on Elon’s campus, which welcomed a nationally ranked visitor for the first time.

Elon shot only 34.4 percent (22 of 64), and with UMass holding a 45-32 rebounding edge it was too much to overcome.

“We didn’t play as clean as we needed to,” Matheny said.

Lucas Troutman scored 19 points and Sebastian Koch had 18 points for Elon (10-9), which had its three-game winning streak end. Tanner Samson added 14 points.

The Minutemen made it difficult for Troutman in the lane. He made six of 20 shots from the field.

“They’re extremely long,” Troutman said. “They’re long and they’re longer than you think.”

Williams, the team’s leading scorer on the season, provided 14 of his points in the last seven minutes.

“I always knew he would catch fire,” Lalanne said. “It was about time he got rolling.”

Maxie Esho finished with 17 points for the Minutemen, who won a non-conference matchup between the teams for the third season in a row.

“I think that’s a very good win for us on the road,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “This was a good, tough 40 minutes for us. That’s about as a full of a 40 minutes we had in a while. I was nervous coming in. I knew this team could beat us if we didn’t play well.”

While the Minutemen controlled the lane - outscoring Elon 38-18 there - it wasn’t until Williams, a 5-foot-9 senior, started clicking that they applied more pressure on the Phoenix defense.

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