Trailing 46-42 with 8:27 remaining, Coleman made a three-point play to start a 13-7 run that gave UMass a 57-53 lead with 3:17 left. Gilvydas Biruta drove in for a layup to narrow the gap to 57-56 with 1:30 remaining. Donte Clark made two free throws for a 59-56 lead with 4 seconds left. Trey Davis stole the ball to secure the win.
The Minutemen held Rhode Island to three points in the final 6:12.
Esho made 10 of 12 free-throw attempts and had three blocks. Clark added 10 points for UMass (10-8, 3-2 Atlantic Ten Conference).
Hassan Martin had 13 points and E. C. Matthews chipped in 11 for Rhode Island (11-5, 3-2).