Norton, Mass. - February 8, 2018 - The Springfield College men's basketball team had their nine-game winning streak snapped on Thursday evening after dropping a 76-70 decision to Wheaton College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play at Emerson Gymnasium.
Springfield, riding its best win streak since the 2001-02 campaign, dropped to 15-7, 9-2 in conference play. With three games remaining in the regular season, Springfield remains in a tie for first-place in the NEWMAC standings. The win moves Wheaton to 13-9, 5-6.
Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) led all players with 25 points, while Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) racked up 14 rebounds and 12 points. Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) added 14 points and Cam Earle (South Hadley, Mass.) chipped in 12 points. Springfield shot just 39% for the game, connecting on 23-of-59 from the floor, including 12-of-30 from beyond the arc.
Wheaton held a 31-18 edge in points in the paint as it went 27-for-59 (45%) from the field. Liam Bruno totaled 19 points, Riley Tetreault delivered 16 points and nine rebounds, Riley Fogarty produced 15 points and five assists, and Duaka Ekwensi registered 11 points and three blocks.
After a jumper from McNulty tied things at 13-all at the 13:09 mark of the first half, the Lyons used a 9-0 run over the next-four plus minutes to take a 22-13 lead following a triple from Bruno as the Pride whistled for a timeout. Out of the break, Springfield used an 11-4 surge in less than two minutes to pull within 26-24 as Ross drilled a pair of trifectas to key the burst. The Lyons would push their lead back to 35-28 with just over two minutes left in the half, only to have Springfield end the stanza on an 8-0 run to take a 36-35 lead into the break after Ross nailed his third triple of the half.
The Pride took its largest lead of the game on an inside finish by Ross three minutes into the second half to make it a 41-38 ball game. The Lyons responded with eight-straight points, as Fogarty triple in transition forced the Pride into a timeout as it faced a 53-45 deficit with 13:30 on the clock. Ross and Post answered with inside buckets before Ross knocked down a three-pointer with a hand in his face to make it a one-point game and force the hosts into a timeout of their own. However, over the next four-plus minutes, Wheaton used a 10-2 run to build a nine-point cushion at 63-54. Springfield made one final-push, making it 69-66 game with just over two minutes left, but Tetreault drilled a step-back three as the shot clock expired to give the hosts some breathing room. Another late triple by Ross with 18 seconds left made it a two-point game, however Wheaton would hit all four of their free throws to seal the win.
Springfield will look to bounce back when it plays MIT, who is ranked 12th in the latest D3hoops.com National Poll, on Saturday in Blake Arena at 3 pm.