Worcester, Mass. - January 9, 2019 - The Springfield College men's basketball team let a 10-point second-half lead slip away as it was defeated by Clark University, 8-79, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) on Wednesday afternoon in the Kneller Center.
The loss drops the Pride's record to 4-10, 1-2 in conference play, while the Cougars improved to 5-9, 1-2.
Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) led all players with 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting to go along with seven boards, three steals, and three assists, while classmate Trey Witter (Unionville, Conn.) netted 21 points, bolstered by four buckets from beyond the arc. Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) added 16 points and six rebounds as the Pride shot 48% from the field (29-61) but just 6-of-22 from downtown.
The difference in the game was Clark's incredible offensive showing in the second half as the hosts shot 22-for-32 (69%), including 8-of-13 from beyond the arc. For the game, Clark owned 37-21 advantage on the glass, including a stunning 20-5 edge in the second half. Brendan Kittredge paced the Cougars with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Anthony Grzembski poured in 17 off the bench.
Springfield jumped out to a 6-0 lead just 2:47 into the contest after Witter buried a triple, but the Cougars pulled within 11-8 when Kittredge rattled in a three of his own with 15:45 on the clock. Over the next four-plus minutes, a 12-5 push by Springfield allowed the Pride to gain a 23-13 edge following another trifecta from Witter. Clark would again make a surge, using an 11-4 push of their own to trim the Pride's lead to 27-24 at 6:39 following a pair of freebies from Biko Gayman. However, the Pride would close the half on a 13-6 burst, highlighted by a baseline dunk by Post, to head into the locker room with a 40-30 lead. Both Ross and Witter netted 12 points in the opening 20 minutes of play.
After Witter knocked down another three to give Springfield the 45-35 lead with 16:35 to play, the Cougars produced 13-4 run to take a 49-48 lead on a Kittredge layup with just under 13 minutes on the clock. The second half saw five more lead changes and one more tie, with an inside finish by Kevin Durkin (Worcester, Mass.) at 7:42 giving the Pride its last lead at 60-59. Over the next two-plus minutes, Clark scored 10 unanswered points to take a nine-point lead to finish off a remarkable 34-15 run on a steal and layup by Grzembski. The visitors would get as close as 75-70 on a pair from the charity stripe by Post with 2:21 remaining, but the Cougars would answer back with a triple from Alex Nazaire and an inside score of Tyler Davern to pull out their first conference win of the season.
Springfield will be back in Blake Arena on Saturday when it hosts Emerson at 3 pm.