The Springfield College men's basketball team built a 15-point second half team and pulled off a 68-65 win over 9th-ranked MIT, 68-65, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday night at Rockwell Cage.
MIT, which was ranked ninth in the latest D3Hoops.com National Poll, had its 11-game winning streak snapped to fall to 14-2, 3-1 in conference play. Winners of six of their last seven games, Springfield is now 10-6, 3-1 as the victory was Pride's second win over a nationally-ranked team this year after previously besting then-No. 14 Wesleyan on December 31. This is the sixth-straight season that Springfield has defeated a nationally-ranked team, a stretch that has included eighth wins over teams ranked in the top 15, six of which were victories over teams in the nation's top 10.
Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) led all players with his 11th double double of the season as he turned in 26 points and 11 boards. Cam Earle(South Hadley, Mass.) netted 12 points, Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) notched 10 boards, five assists, and three blocks, and Kevin Durkin(Worcester, Mass.) pumped in nine points off the bench. The Pride shot 54% for the game, hitting on 25 of their 46 field goal attempts, including 6-of-12 from deep.
The Engineers entered the game as the top three-point shooting team in Division III, hitting 44.4% of their triples coming into the contest. However, the hosts went just 7-of-27 from beyond the arc, including 3-for-16 in the first half, but turned 18 Springfield turnovers into 18 points. Bradley Jomard had 21 points and six assists in the setback, while Hamilton Forsythe totaled 16 points and Cameron Korb chipped in 14.
After an inside finish by Jomard gave MIT a 13-12 lead with 12:38 on the clock, Earle answered with a corner jumper to kickstart a 13-2 burst. The run was capped off by a pull up trifecta from Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) at the 7:08 mark. A trio of free throws by Korb pulled MIT within 32-27, but Springfield would buckle down and the stanza on a 12-4 surge, with Ross scoring four points in the final 22 seconds to give the visitors a 44-31 edge at the break. Springfield shot 16-for-24 (66%) in the opening half with Ross scoring 15 points and Earle tallying nine.
Post sliced through the defense and finished with a right hand to make it a 46-31 ball game as Springfield opened its largest lead of the game just 1:09 into the second half. However, MIT methodically worked their way back into the game, climbing within 51-47 after Forstyhe flushed a two-handed dunk down along the baseline, forcing the Pride into a timeout. A corner triple from Ben Diamond (New York, N.Y.) built the Pride's lead back to 60-54 at the 6:03 mark before a Korb triple a Jomard three-point play tied the game for the first time with 5:17 left in regulation.
Coming out a timeout, Ross scored seven points for the Pride as part of a 7-3 push to give Springfield a 67-63 cushion, only to have Jomard covert inside at 1:22 to make it a one-score game. After Springfield came up empty on its next two possessions, the Pride stopped MIT in the paint in the final seconds, and Ross hit another free throw to seal the 68-65 win.
Springfield will conclude its three-game road swing on Saturday when it travels to Connecticut to face Coast Guard for a 1 pm tilt.