Springfield, Mass. - December 8, 2018 - The Springfield College men's basketball team nearly upset the nation's second-ranked team in Williams College on Saturday afternoon in Blake Arena, but their comeback bid fell short in a 75-71 setback in non-conference play.
Williams, who was ranked second in the nation in the latest D3hoops.com National Poll, improved to 9-0, while the Pride dropped to 2-5.
Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) was sensational for the Pride in the loss, totaling 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go along with nine rebounds, four blocks, and three assists. Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) netted 24 points, including 20 in the second half, as the Pride shot 25-for-62 (40.3%) for the game, including 11-for-33 from beyond the arc. Springfield's defense, highlighted by the efforts of Deonte Sandifer (Pittsfield, Mass.), held the Ephs to nearly 20 points below their season average.
Williams had four players in double figures, led by Bobby Casey, who tallied 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Kyle Scadlock recorded a double-double with 13 rebounds and 12 points, James Heskett registered 14 points, and Matt Karpowicz delivered 11 points and eight boards. The Ephs shot 50% in the game (26-for-52) and outscored the Pride 36-20 in the paint.
The visitors made five of their first six shots to race out to a 13-2 lead just 4:10 into the game as the Pride called for a timeout following a triple by Heskett. Springfield would respond with a 10-4 push, capped off by a trifecta from the right wing by Daryl Costa (Providence, R.I.) at the 11:03 mark to pull within 17-12, but Williams blew open the half with a 14-3 burst over the next five minutes to gain a 31-15 cushion. Springfield managed just 25 points in the half and faced a 38-25 deficit heading into halftime after shooting just 9-of-30 from the field.
Despite pulling within 10 twice in the opening minutes of the second half, Springfield again trailed by 15 at 46-31 when Scadlock finished inside at 17:12. However, over the next seven-plus minutes, Springfield mounted an incredible rally thanks to 25-10 surge to tie the game at 56-all after a deep triple from Post, one of Springfield's five trifectas in the run. Williams needed just under three minutes to build their lead back to eight though, thanks to a 10-2 burst as Casey and Heskett each had five points to lead the way.
The hosts would make one final push, as back-to-back buckets from Kevin Durkin (Worcester, Mass.) fueled a 7-2 run as the Pride pulled with 73-71 with 2:24 to play. Springfield would force a turnover on the ensuing possession but could not convert in transition and Casey drilled a jumper the next time down the floor to make it a four-point cost. The Pride had four more possessions in the game, but missed three times from deep and turned the ball over once, as it came up short of the victory.
Springfield will play again on Tuesday night in Blake Arena when it hosts nationally-ranked Amherst at 7:30 pm.