The Springfield College men's basketball team put together a tremendous group effort to knock off nationally-ranked MIT, 66-61, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday in Blake Arena.
MIT, who was ranked sixth in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25, fell to 20-3, 10-2 in conference action, while Springfield improved to 9-14, 6-6. It marked the seventh time in the last seven seasons that Springfield has defeated a team ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) paced the Pride with 25 points, including 17 in the first half, to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks. All of Cam Earle's (South Hadley, Mass.) 11 points came in the second half, while both Kevin Durkin (Worcester, Mass.) and Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) netted 10 points. For the game, the Pride shot 22-for-52 (42%), but knocked down 17-of-19 from the charity stripe and held a 31-28 edge on the glass.
For MIT, Bradley Jomard registered a game-high 32 points on 12-of-17 shooting and Cameron Korb contributed 14 points off the bench. The Engineers committed 17 turnovers in the contest, and shot 21-for-47, including 8-of-25 from beyond the arc.
The Pride jumped out to an 8-0 lead just 2:43 into the contest following a mid-range jumper from Ross, but MIT would respond with an 18-4 surge, canning four buckets from beyond the arc, to take a 18-12 lead at the 9:30 mark when Ian Hinkley buried a triple to force the hosts into a timeout. Springfield would answer back with seven-straight points of their own, with a triple from Ross with 6:55 giving the Pride a 19-18 edge. MIT would grind their way to a 30-26 lead as Tim Roberts cashed in a pair from the charity stripe at the 1:11 mark, but Springfield netted the final five points of the stanza, getting a triple from Jake Jacobson (Branford, Conn.) and a putback finish from Collin Lindsay (East Longmeadow, Mass.) in the final seconds to take a 31-30 lead into the break.
Springfield would score the first nine points of the second half, getting a stepback baseline jumper from Jacobson at 15:50 to extend the Pride's cushion to 40-30. MIT would settle in offensively and manufacture a 13-2 push, with an inside finish from Jomard putting the visitors on top at 43-42 at 10:04.
The next time down the court, Earle answered with a deep jumper to put Springfield back on top for good, and the hosts extended their advantage to 54-46 when Ross found Earle for back-to-back corner three-pointers with 5:16 to play. It would prove to a tense finish as MIT pulled back within 60-59 on two freebies from Jomard with 26 seconds on the clock. However, Ross would calmly net a pair of free throws of his own and then come up with a huge block and rebound on the defensive end. Free throws from Lindsay and Post in the final 12 seconds sealed the victory.
Springfield will play its regular-season home finale against WPI at 7 pm.