Babson Park, Mass. - January 3, 2018 - Despite a 27-point, 16-rebound effort from Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.), the Springfield College men's basketball team could not overcome a sluggish first half as it was defeated by Babson College, 83-60, in its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener on Wednesday evening.
Babson, which was the 2017 NCAA Division III National Champion, improved to 6-6, 1-0 win the win, while the Pride, which was coming off a win over 12th-ranked Wesleyan over the weekend, dropped to 6-6, 0-1.
Ross did everything he could to keep the Pride in the game as he netted a team-best 27 points on 13-of-23 shooting to go along with a game-high 16 rebounds, as well as six assists and five steals. Classmate Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) chipped in 11 points and seven boards and Cam Earle (South Hadley, Mass.) totaled nine points and two steals. As a team, Springfield shot 43% from the floor (26-for-61), but was just 4-of-20 from beyond the arc while also committing 19 turnovers.
For Babson, Nick Commenale netted a game-high 28 points, while Andrew Jaworski canned five trifectas en route to 19 points. Brandon Johnson chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds and Bradley Jacks produced 12 points. The Babson starting five accounted for 81 of their 83 points, as the team finished the night shooting 50% (32-for-64) from the field.
The hosts jumped out to a 7-0 lead before Ross registered the Pride's first points of the night on a tip in at the 15:20 mark of the opening half of play. The sophomore would score Springfield's first eight points of the contest, pulling Springfield within 10-8 with 12:47 on the clock before Babson used a 16-6 push to open up a 26-14 margin at 6:49 following consecutive triples by Jaworski. After a three from Earle capped off an 8-2 surge to bring Springfield within 28-22, the Beavers erupted on an 18-2 run in a four-minute stretch to own a comfortable 46-24 advantage. Springfield made things interesting in the final minute, manufactuing a 7-0 spurt, with Ross going the length on the court in the final six seconds to make it a 46-31 contest at the half. Babson drilled nine three pointers in the opening 20 minutes, connecting on 50% of their bids from beyond the arc.
Springfield would score seven points in a one minute stretch to pull within 50-40 following a three-point play by Ross at 17:38, but Babson used a 14-4 push in the next four minutes to regain a 20-point lead. The Pride would get no closer than 12 following back-to-back inside finishes from Ross with 7:38 left in regulation as the hosts cruised to the 23-point conference win.
Springfield will return home on Saturday to face off with Wheaton at 1 pm in Blake Arena.