Boston, Mass. - February 11, 2017 - Led by 59 points from first-year student-athletes, the Springfield College men's basketball team earned a critical 82-62 victory over Emerson in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game played at UMass Boston.
Springfield is now 12-11, 6-6 in conference action, while Emerson dropped to 6-17, 2-10.
Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) finished the evening with his 10th double double of the year after totaling a game-high 20 points to go along with 10 boards. Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) poured in a career-high 18 points, connecting on 7-of-11 from the field. Freshman classmate Trey Witter (Unionville, Conn.) added 10 points off the bench, and junior Brandon Eckles (East Greenwich, R.I.) delivered 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Springfield went 26-for-62 (42%) from the floor and finished the evening 24-for-32 from the charity stripe. The Pride held a 34-20 edge on points in the paint and scored 19 second-chance points.
Both teams struggled offensively to start the game as Springfield held a 9-7 cushion at the 14:16 mark after a three-pointer by Sheng. However, over the next three-plus minutes, Springfield put together a 9-2 burst, including six points from Durkin, to open up an 18-9 cushion with 10:39 on the clock. The hosts would climb within four on a pair of occasions, the last coming on a Sheng jumper at the 6:25 mark to make it a 24-20 contest before Ross took over with seven-point points to give Springfield an 11-point cushion. An inside finish by Ross provided Springfield its largest lead of the half, a 35-22 edge, and the Pride went into the break holding a 38-28 lead. Ross and Post combined for 22 points and 11 boards in the opening 20 minutes for the Pride.
The Pride led by double-digits the entire second half, and a deep triple from Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) allowed the visitors lead to balloon to 70-50 with just over five minutes left in regulation. Springfield would lead by as many as 22 points in the contest and coasted to a 20-point triumph for their sixth conference win of the year.
Springfield will play its final regular season home game on Wednesday evening when it hosts Clark at 7:30 pm with postseason implications on the line.