Springfield, Mass. - January 24, 2018 - The Springfield College men's basketball handled visiting WPI, 86-67, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) battle in Blake Arena on Wednesday night.
Springfield has now strung together six-straight victories to improve to 12-6, 6-1, while the Engineers dropped to 10-8, 4-3.
It was a historical evening as Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) became the fastest student-athlete in men's basketball program history to score 1,000 points as he sophomore needed just 44 games to become the 31st player in program history to reach the milestone. Ross put together an incredible showing in the victory as he poured in a career-best 39 points on 13-of-23 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and a career-high seven assists.
Cam Earle (South Hadley, Mass.) netted 15 points, all of which came on five trifectas in the first half, while Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) added 12 points and Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) chipped in nine points and eight boards. As a team, the Pride shot 28-for-48 (58%) and netted 21-of-23 attempts for the charity stripe. Springfield also turned 11 WPI turnovers in 16 points.
Jake Wisniewski paced WPI with 13 points, while Aaron Todd contributed 10 points and seven rebounds. The Engineers finished the contest shooting 25-for-60 (41%) and were just 10-of-29 from deep.
Springfield stormed out to 9-2 lead just 3:58 into the contest after Earle's third trifecta of the half, a lead that would grow to 18 after a pair from the free throw line by Ross with 10:24 on the clock. History was made at the 4:38 mark when Ross muscled his way into the lane before elevating for a tough finish to score his 1,000 point, giving the Pride a 32-18 edge. The visitors would get within 12 following a three-point play by Reid Walker with 1:48 remaining, only to have another Ross layup and a triple from Post give the hosts a 42-25 edge at the break. Springfield was lights out from behind the arc, canning 8-of-12 attempts, including a 5-for-6 effort by Earle.
The Pride's lead grew to 21 after Post snagged a steal and flushed home a dunk in transition at the 16:30 mark of the second half, and the hosts would maintain a comfortable lead throughout until a pair of free throws by Wisniewski with 7:37 capped off a 10-3 spurt that brought the Engineers within 12 at 66-54. However, Springfield would responded with a 7-2 burst of their own, using a three-point play by Ross to regain a 17-point edge. The Pride's offense shot a blistering 59% in the second half, and thanks to a 17-for-19 performance from the free-throw, including 9-of-10 in the final two-plus minutes, Springfield coasted to the 19-point victory.
Springfield will head to Worcester on Saturday to square off with Clark for a 1 pm meeting.