Springfield, Mass. - January 30, 2019 - The Springfield College men's basketball team dropped a 79-68 decision to visiting Coast Guard in a New England Women's and MEn's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup in Blake Arena on Wednesday night.
The Bears improved to 13-6, 4-5 in conference play, while the Pride's record dips to 7-13, 4-5.
Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) led all players with 35 points to go along with 10 boards, five assists, and four steals, and Trey Witter (Unionville, Conn.) netted 15 points, including 13 in the first half. Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) hauled down a game-high 14 rebounds, while Kevin Durkin (Worcester, Mass.) totaled eight points and eight boards in the setback. Springfield committed 17 turnovers in the game, including 13 in the second half, and held a 36-30 edge on the glass. The Pride shot 25-for-60 (44%), but was just 1-of-10 from deep in the second half.
Four starters scored in double figures for Coast Guard, as both Noah Baldez and Nolan Benson registered 17 points. Pack Witkowski chipped in 16 points and Justin Kane added 11 points for a Bears squad that shot 30-for-58 (52%).
A five-point spurt allowed the Pride to gain a 13-10 edge at the 14-minute mark of the first half on a jumper in the paint by Ross as Coast Guard whistled for the first timeout of the half. The visitors would answer back with seven-straight points of their own to gain a 17-13 cushion following a three-point play by Luke Daniels, only to have a four-point play from Witter with 10:58 even things up. The game would be knotted up four more times, the last coming at 27-all on a jumper from Ross at 6:25 before the Bears erupted on a 16-3 surge, fueled by seven points inside from Benson. Springfield would close out the frame on a 7-2 burst to pull within 45-37 at the break, as Ross netted all seven points to make it an eight-point game at the break.
The Pride stormed out of the second half and produced a 9-2 run, capped off by a three-point play from Ross at 17:08, to pull within 47-46. However, the visitors would answer right back with an 11-4 push, as Kane drilled a triple at 13:43 to make it a 58-50 contest in favor of the Bears. Over the next four-plus minutes, Springfield would chip away at Coast Guard's advantage and finally take a 62-61 lead following a trifecta from the left wing by Cam Earle (South Hadley, Mass.) with just over seven minutes on the clock. After Witkowski finished inside at 6:24 to give the Bears a 65-64 edge, Springfield would turn the ball over five times in their next eight possessions in a 4:20 span, and Coast Guard took full advantage as they extended their cushion to 75-66. The Pride would get no closer than seven points and the Bears four freebies in the final minute of play to conclude the conference win.
Springfield will travel to Emerson on Saturday for another important conference showdown at 3 pm.