Springfield, Mass. - January 18, 2017 - The Springfield College men's basketball team snapped its three-game slide with an 80-74 victory over Coast Guard in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action Wednesday evening in Blake Arena.
Springfield evened its record to 8-8, 2-3 in conference play while Coast Guard dipped to 5-10, 1-4.
Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) led all players with 21 points and six assists to go along with six boards, while Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) netted 18 points, including five three-pointers. Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) added 14 points, five rebounds, and three helpers and Brandon Eckles (East Greenwich, R.I.) chipped in eight points, seven caroms, and four assists off the bench. Springfield shot 26-for-57 (45.6%) for the game and scored 11 fast-break points.
For Coast Guard, four student-athletes scored in double figures with Micah Baldez (Lower Gywnedd, Pa.) pacing the offense with 18 assists. Max Lampe (Gettysburg, Pa.) netted 17 and Patrick Witkowski (Melrose, Mass.) stuffed his stat sheet with 13 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Justin Kane (Arnold, Md.) delivered 10 points and five boards off the bench for the Bears, which held a 42-35 edge on the glass and connected on 18-of-20 from the charity stripe.
Springfield jumped out to a 7-2 advantage on an inside bucket from Ross just under two minutes into the game before the Bears responded with a 10-2 push to earn a 12-9 cushion on a fast-break score from Lampe. The visitors lead would grow to 17-12 at the 14:28 mark on a jumper by Baldez, only to have a 6-1 burest by the Pride capped off by a steal and finish by Keegan McDonough (Bath, Maine) tie things at 18 apiece.
The first half would feature eight ties, the last coming on a putback by Avalon McLaren (Brockton, Mass.) at 33-all with 2:04 on the clock. Coast Guard would regain a four-point led on a pair from the stripe from Baldez with 25 seconds left, but Stanley Davis (Boston, Mass.) canned a corner three in the waning moments to send the Pride into the half trailing, 39-38. Springfield shot 50% from the floor in the stanza, but was outrebounded, 23-12, and was outscored by 10 from the foul line.
Springfield found itself down 47-42 following consecutive lay-ins by Witkowski just under found minutes into the second half before answering with an 11-2 surge that featured three-pointers from McNulty, Ross, and Post in a 1:39 span. A pair from the line from Post at the 8:19 mark gave Springfield a 64-59 cushion, but the visitors responded with 10-0 run, including five points from Lampe to regain a five-point lead of their own.
The hosts answered right back with five-consecutive points and the teams would trade baskets until two freebies from Eckles with 2:04 left gave Springfield the lead for good. Springfield iced the game with six free throws in the final minute to earn the important conference win.
Springfield will continue conference play on Saturday when it travels to face Clark for a 3 pm tilt.