Cambridge, Mass. - January 14, 2017 - Despite holding a five-point lead at the half, the Springfield College men's basketball team was defeated by MIT, 79-55, on Saturday afternoon in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play at Rockwell Cage.
MIT improved to 11-3, 3-0 in conference play, while the Pride dropped its third-straight contest to fall to 7-8, 1-3.
In the first half, the Engineers led for much of the period and continued to hold a seven-point advantage at 29-22 with just 4:19 remaining before halftime. The Pride embarked on a quick 9-1 run over just 2:27 though, capped by a three-pointer from Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) to take their first lead at 31-29. After a jumper from MIT's Dakota Pierce (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) tied the game at 31-31, the visitors used an Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) trifecta and a Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) lay up to take a 36-31 edge into the break.
Another three by McNulty made it 43-37 just 2:45 into the second half, however MIT put together a convincing 19-2 run of its own to turn the deficit into a double-digit lead at 56-45 midway through the period. The Engineers led by at least 13 points over the final 6:03 of play and by as many as 21, including the final margin of 79-58 as MIT has now won five straight.
Pierce finished the game with 23 points, while sophomore guard AJ Jurko (Weston, Fla.) ended with a game-high 24 points and six assists. Both Pierce and Jurko also posted four steals as the Engineers forced 20 Springfield turnovers while only turning the ball over nine times. Senior Tim Butala (Monroe, Conn.) also finished the game in double figures with 11 points as MIT shot 49.2 percent from the field overall.
Ross led Springfield with 19 points and eight rebounds on 8-for-10 shooting from the field off the bench, while Post added 11 points and six rebounds to go along with three blocks.
Springfield will host Coast Guard next Wednesday at 7 pm in Blake Arena.