Springfield, Mass. - February 10, 2018 - The Springfield College men's basketball team delivered a 69-62 victory over 12th-ranked MIT in a critical New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) battle on Saturday in Blake Arena.
The win, which was Springfield's third over a nationally-ranked team this season, pushes the Pride's record to 16-7, 10-2 in conference play as it now stands alone atop the conference standings. MIT, which was ranked 12th in the latest D3hoops.com National Poll, fell to 18-5, 8-4.
Both teams appeared in the latest NCAA Division III Regional Rankings earlier this week, with the Pride checking in at No. 7 in the Northeast, while the Engineers were 8th. Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) was tremendous for Springfield in the win as he registered 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, to go along with six assists. Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) added 20 points, 11 boards, four assists, and three steals, and Brandon Eckles (East Greenwich, R.I.) was strong in the post with seven points, seven rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.
MIT's Cameron Korb tallied 18 points, while AJ Jurko chipped in 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and four steals for the visitors. Aidan Einloth added nine rebounds and seven points off the bench as MIT was held to a 22-for-63 (35%) performance from the field, including just 10-of-35 (29%) from deep.
McNulty cashed in on a triple from the right wing to give Springfield a 13-8 cushion at the 14:02 mark of the opening half, but the Engineers would put together a 12-1 surge which featured three triples, included a pair by Ian Hinkley, to give the visitors a 20-14 edge with 8:42 on the clock. MIT maintained a six-point advantage following a three-point play by Einloth with 3:59 remaining before McNulty would take over, keying an 11-4 surge in which he drilled three from beyond the arc to put the hosts back on top, 30-29 with under 30 seconds to play. A jumper in the paint by Dakota Pierce in the waning seconds allowed MIT to head into the half with a 31-30 lead.
Springfield wasted no time seizing control of the second half, pouring on an 11-0 run in the opening 4:01 to take a 41-31 lead. Two freebies from Korb cut it to 44-38 with 12:56 on the clock, but the Pride manufactured an 11-4 burst over the next four-plus minutes, as an inside finish from Ben Diamond (New York, N.Y.) allowed the hosts to take its largest lead of the game at 55-42. The Engineers made one last push, holding Springfield to just four points over the next seven minutes as a jumper in the paint by Jurko cut it to a four-point game, 59-55, with 1:33 remaining. However, on the ensuing posession, Ross delivered a sensational feed to Earle for a momentum-swinging triple to give Springfield a seven-point cushion. The hosts hit seven of eight from the charity striple in the final 28 seconds to seal the important conference win.
The Pride will now focus on its final regular-season road trip as it heads to WPI on Wednesday for a 5:30 clash.