Babson Park, Mass. - February 8, 2017 - Facing the nation's top-ranked team for the third time this season, the Springfield College men's basketball team was bested by Babson College, 95-77, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Wednesday.
Babson, which was ranked No. 1 in the latest D3Hoops.com national poll, improved to 21-1 on the season, 11-0 in conference while Springfield evened its record to 11-11, 5-6. Tonight's game marked the third time this season that the Pride squared off the top team in the nation, previously besting Amherst, 71-70, on December 14 before falling to Babson, 73-68, on January 7.
Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) paced Springfield with team-best totals of 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, while Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) continued to shoot the ball wall, netting 22 points, including a career-best six three-pointers. Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) chipped in 10 points and six rebounds and Anthony Reynolds (Springfield, Mass.) scored nine points off the bench.
The Pride shot 46% from the floor for the game, bolstered by a 12-for-23 performance from beyond the arc, but Babson held a 37-28 edge on the glass and turned nine Springfield turnovers into 18 points.
Joey Flannery led all players with 36 points to go along with 10 boards, while Nick Commenale knocked down five three-pointers en route to 21 points for the hosts. Babson, which outscored Springfield 55-38 in the second half, shot 51% from the floor for the game and canned 15 three-pointers.
Ross got free for a mid-range jumper after a great up-and-under move to cap off a 7-0 Springfield surge, which gave the visitors a 15-13 cushion at the 13:22 mark of the opening half. The hosts answered with a 10-3 push of their own to earn a five-point cushion following a three-point play by Charlie Rice, and would push their lead to eight when consecutive three-pointers by Flannery forced the Pride into a timeout trailing 31-23 with 6:22 on the clock. The Beavers lead was six with just over a minute to play, but a four-point play by Post and a triple at the horn by McNulty made 40-39 game at the half in favor of Babson.
Springfield opened up a 52-47 lead just over five minutes into the second half thanks to eight points from Ross. However over the next six-plus minutes, the Pride's offense went cold and Babson took advantage of it, putting together a game-changing 24-3 run to earn a 71-55 with 8:43 on the clock. Commenale was the difference in the stretch, netting 10 points, including a pair of triples. The visitors would get as close as 12 following a three-point play by Reynolds with 6:19 remaining in regulation, but Babson answered right back with a three-pointer by Flannery, and didn't look back as it cruised to its 11th-conference win of the year.
Springfield will face Emerson on Saturday night at 7 pm in a game that will be played at UMass Boston.