Jake Ross eclipsed the career 1,000 point mark with a baby hook shot in the first half of the Pride’s game against WPI. The bucket gave him his eighth point of the game. After picking up the milestone, he went on to score 31 more points en route to a career game high of 39 in the Pride’s 86-67 win over WPI.
Ross became the 30th student-athlete to score 1,000 career points for Pride men’s basketball. But he is alone at the top as the only player to achieve the feat in under 50 games, as it took him just 44.
“You just cherish it and move on,” said Ross on his achievement. “You just hope to keep winning and enjoy it. I’m blessed.”
Head coach Charlie Brock thinks Ross’ scoring prowess affects the game in big ways, but he appreciates Ross’ tenacity on the glass as well.
“One of the reasons he wins the defensive player of the week award is because he rebounds,” said Brock. “That is not coachable. That’s just desire on his part. As much as I would like to take credit for some of the passes he makes out of the offense – I can’t do it. He finds people because [the other team has] to try and stop him.”
When asked how different the dynamic on the court could be with Ross off the court, Brock said with a smile, “I don’t know and I don’t want to know.”
On top of reaching a program and a personal milestone, Ross and junior Cam Earle were able to lead the Pride to its sixth straight victory.
Earle came into the game on fire from the three-point line. He scored Springfield’s first nine points, all from the three point line, and led all scorers at halftime with 15 points.
Earle hit a stretch early on in the season where his minutes were limited and his productivity wasn’t high. But, during the Pride’s current six-game win streak, he has been a spark on offense.
“He’s not a better shooter now than he was two months ago. He just knows when his shots are coming now so he is able to get mentally and physically ready,” said Brock. “He knows where his shots are going to come from out of the sets and which defenses we are using. He is in a kind of comfort zone.”
After going through the first eight games of the season and not playing in five, senior Ben Diamond has emerged the last few games as a player that the team can rely on offensively and defensively.
“Ben brings a nice versatility [to the floor] because he can play two positions and he knows what he is doing in both of them,” said Brock. “That gives us the ability to substitute him for either a wing or a post and he can keep us functioning. That has been really good.”
The Pride look to keep the win streak alive by defeating Clark on Saturday in Worcester.