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Eastern Connecticut State Surges Past Men's Basketball, 74-59

Eastern Connecticut State Surges Past Men's Basketball, 74-59

Springfield, Mass. - December 30, 2018 - The Springfield College men's basketball team was bested in the consolation game of the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic on Sunday afternoon in Blake Arena by Eastern Connecticut State, 74-59.

The win lifted ECSU to 9-3 on the year, while the Pride fell to 3-8. 

For Eastern Connecticut, Jake Collagan (Wethersfield, Conn.) totaled a team-best 26 points go along along with six boards, while Carlos Gonzalez (Springfield, Mass.) stuffed his stat sheet with 14 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three helpers.   Leonel Hyatt (Greenwich, R.I.) chipped in 16 points and eight rebounds for a Warriors club that held a 36-18 scoring advantage in the paint. 

 Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) scored a game-high 28 points, including 20 in the first half, and pulled down eight rebounds, while Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) produced a 15-point, 11-rebound double double.  Springfield turned the ball over 14 times, which resulted in 19 points by the visitors.

After ECSU opened up a 7-1 lead just 1:34 into the contest, the Pride responded with seven-straight points of their own, including five from Ross, as the Pride took its first lead of the contest at 16:58.  The hosts pushed their lead to 21-15 after Ross knocked down three free throws at 9:19, but the Warriors would remain in striking distance, pulling within 28-27 when Collangan knocked down a deep three with 3:31 on the clock.  Post would answer back with a triple and a pair of freebies to push Springfield's advantage back to six at the 1:42 mark, and the Pride would own a 33-29 cushion heading into the locker.   

Post drilled a three pointer to open the second half to give Springfield a seven-point edge, its largest lead of the day.  After Post later knocked down three free throws at 14:55 to make it a 42-37 game, the Warriors responded with 7-2 push to even the game at 44 following a tough inside finish by Collagan.  

Springfield would regain a 52-47 edge on a corner three by Kendall Baldwin (Springfield, Mass.) at 10:07, but ECSU answered with 11-straight points and earned a 58-52 advantage when Donny Craig (Waterford, Conn.) cashed in a trifecta at 6:09.  Eastern Connecticut continued to pour on the pressure down the stretch, and all told, the Warriors closed the game on a a 27-7 run en route to a 74-59 win. 

Springfield will open up New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Wednesday night when it hosts Babson at 7 pm.


Salisbury 78, Nichols 71

Springfield, Mass - In a meeting between a pair of nationally-ranked opponents, the Salisbury men's basketball team held on for a 78-71 victory over Nichols in the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic at Springfield College on Sunday.

The Bison, who were ranked 16th in the country by, lost for the first time this season to fall to 10-1, while the 22nd-ranked Gulls improved to 11-1.

Blair Davis was named the MVP of the Classic as he turned in eight assists, seven points, and four boards for Salisbury, while teammate Mike Ward earned All-Tournament team honors after pouring in 20 points off the bench.  J.P. Krotulis netted 13 points, and both Gary Briddell and Lucas Martin chipped in 11 points.  Salisbury's bench accounted for 41 of their 78 points.

For Nichols, Maros Echevarria became the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,128 career points after he netted a game-high 28 points to go along with six boards and five assists.  Matt Marrow joined Echevarria on the all-tournament team after turning in a 16-point, eight-rebound showing.  

The Bison owned an early 11-6 cushion after a jumper in the paint by DeAnte Bruton at the 14:39 mark, but Salisbury responded with a 10-1 burst that was fueled by eight points from Krotulis, to take a 16-12 lead at 11:39.  Over the next six-plus minutes, Nichols put together a 19-5 surge to earn a 31-21 cushion following an inside bucket from Nate Tenaglia with 5:03 remaining.  However, Salisbury would regroup and manufacture a 16-2 run to close the half, with Ward accounting for seven points to help the Gulls to a 37-33 halftime lead.

Salisbury's lead would grow to 54-43 after Briddell cashed in a triple with 12:20 to play, only to have Nichols rattle off 12 of the game's next 13 points, including seven from Echevarria, to even things at 55 apiece.  The lead would change hand six times over the the next two-plus minutes before a critical three-pointer by Bridell with 2:53 left gave Salisbury the lead for good at 71-69.  The Gulls would make five of six from the line down the stretch en route to the 78-71 win.

All Tournament Team 

 Blair Davis - Salisbury (MVP)
 Mike Ward - Salisbury 
 Matt Morrow - Nichols 
 Marcos Echevarria- Nichols  
 Jake Collagan - Eastern Connecticut 
 Heath Post - Springfield