Amherst, Mass. - November 3, 2017 - The Springfield College men's basketball team had the unique opportunity to battle the University of Massachusetts in an exhibition game in the Mullins Center on Friday night. The Minutemen prevailed by a score of 82-60, much in part to outscoring the Pride by a 44-25 margin in the second half.
Cam Earle (South Hadley, Mass.) had a strong showing in his game in a Springfield uniform as he tallied a team-best 14 points off the bench, cashing in on 4-of-6 from downtown to go along with five boards and three assists. Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) totaled 13 points and three assists on 5-of-6 shootinig and Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) produced nine points and six rebounds for the Pride.
Springfield finished the game shooting 23-for-50 (46%), including 9-for-22 from deep. UMass controlled the paint, owning a 46-20 edge and turned 15 Springfield turnovers into 25 points.
The visiting Pride controlled much of the tempo in the early going and owned a 7-6 lead at the 15:16 mark of the first half after a pair of free throws from Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.). The Minutemen responded with a 5-0 push, only to have Earle drill a corner three to put the Pride back on top, 12-11, with 11:34 to go.
Springfield gained a 25-23 edge on baseline jumper from Post with under six to go in the half, and the Pride pushed its advantage to 30-27 when Earle buried his second triple of the game with 4:30 on the clock.
After UMass answered witha 9-2 surge to take a 36-32 lead on a tip in, Ross pulled up for a triple to make it one-point game, only to have a pair of freebies give the Minutemen at 38-35 cushion at the break. Springfield was especially efficient on the offensive side of the ball, shooting 58.3% from the floor to go along with a 17-15 edge on the glass. The Pride was whistled for 13 fouls in the first half, compared to just six by the hosts.
Brandon Eckles (East Greenwich, R.I.) pulled up for a straightaway three to even things at 40-all just under 90 seconds into the second half. However, after going 0-for-9 from beyond the arc in the first half, UMass answered with three-straight trifectas to open up a 49-40 cushion with 16:06 on the clock. Five-straight points from Earle made it a four-point game, but the Minutemen used an 11-0 run over the next 6:10 to open up a 60-45 lead.
Springfield made one last push using back-to-back triples from Earle and Jake Jacobson (Branford, Conn.) to draw within 10 with 8:11 on the clock. But the hosts would prove to be too much down the stretch, UMass put together another burst, this time scoring 12 of the game's next 13 points, as the lead ballooned to 73-52 with under four to go.
Springfield will officially open up the 2017-18 campaign at home against cross-town foe Western New England on November 15 at 8 pm in Blake Arena.