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Late Push Lifts No. 23 Amherst Over Men's Basketball, 71-66

Late Push Lifts No. 23 Amherst Over Men's Basketball, 71-66

Amherst, Mass. - December 12, 2017 - Sophomore forward Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) notched 18 points and picked up six rebounds but the Springfield College men's basketball team fell to nationally-ranked Amherst College, 71-66, on Tuesday night in LeFrak Gymnasium. The Mammoths shot a blistering 61.5 percent from behind the arc in the second half, hitting 8-of-13 three pointers in the final 20 minutes.

With the loss, the Pride falls to 4-3, while Amherst, which was ranked No. 23 in the latest National Rankings, improves to 7-1 on the year. The Mammoths held a 41-31 rebound advantage in the victory, as Springfield College was 24-of-57 (42.1%) from the field, compared to Amherst shooting 28-for-62 (45.2%). The Mammoths dominated the paint, outscoring the Pride 32-14 down low.

Along with 18 points and six rebounds from Post, sophomore guard Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) and Trey Witter (Unionville, Conn.) had 11 points apiece, while Ross led the Pride with a team-high seven rebounds. 

Amherst College was headed by an efficient offensive performance from Fru Che (Somerville, Mass.), who notched 17 points off the bench, while Johnny McCarthy (Medfield, Mass.) and Eric Sellew (Carlisle, Mass.) combined for 19 points in the win. 

Tied at five points apiece just 1:49 into the contest, McCarthy dropped a pair of free throws to give the Mammoths a two-point advantage, but a three-pointer from Eckles gave the Pride a 8-7 lead with 16:08 on the clock. Witter followed suit with a triple of his own to make it 11-7, Springfield College, 5:34 into the contest. The Pride continued their run and opened up a 16-7 lead on a lay-up from Kevin Durkin (Worcester, Mass.) with 13:08 on the clock, but Amherst quickly made it a three-point game as Chu's basket with 9:22 to play made it 16-13, Pride. 

Post's jumper with 7:30 to play in the first half gave the Pride a 20-16 advantage, but a 6-0 burst from the Mammoths, capped by another basket from Chu, gave the hosts a 22-20 lead with 4:38 remaining in the first. With 1:07 on the clock and facing a three-point deficit, Post converted a jumper and followed with a three-pointer to give the Pride a 30-28 lead, but Grant Robinson (McLean, Va.) knocked down a buzzer-beating triple to send the Mammoths into the break with a 31-30 lead.

Even at 35 points apiece just 3:20 into the second half, Ross drilled a three before Eckles converted a lay-up to make it 40-35, Springfield College, but four consecutive three-pointers, including two from Chu, gave Amherst a 47-46 lead with 11:43 to play. From there, the Mammoths continued to take advantage of the deep ball as three triples, including two from Tim McCarthy (Medfield, Mass.) in a span of 1:12 gave the hosts a 58-57 lead with 7:28 on the clock.

All tied up at 62 with 3:27 to play following a three-pointer from Post, Amherst went on another quick five-point burst to take a 67-62 lead, a margin it would hold until the final, 71-66.

Next, Springfield College will head south for the Leslie Robinson Memorial Tournament, hosted by Trinity College in San Antonio, Texas. In the Pride's first game of the tournament, the maroon and white will square off with Southwestern on Friday, December 15 at 9 p.m. EST.