By Gage Nutter
Assistant Sports Editor
The men’s basketball team left Blake Arena with a sour taste in their mouths Tuesday night as they lost to SUNY New Paltz 64-63. The Pride are now 2-3 overall.
It was a back and forth battle for most of the game. The Pride outrebounded New Paltz 39 to 29, but they committed more turnovers as well – 19 to 11.
At halftime the score was tight. At that point, the Pride had a 29-26 lead. Ten of the 26 points New Paltz scored had come off of turnovers, but the Pride had been more secure with the ball going into halftime.
Coming out of halftime, New Paltz strung together a few deep three-pointers to push themselves into the lead. Stellar scoring by Springfield’s freshman sensation Jake Ross (finished with 23) and crucial rebounding by the veteran junior captain Brandon Eckles (finished with 10) kept the Pride in a tight game all the way down to the end.
After a three-pointer by junior captain Andy McNulty with 1:15 to go, and a critical rebound by freshman forward Heath Post with 32 seconds to go, the Pride pulled ahead with a lead of 63-62.
However, on their next possession, the team was given a travelling violation with ten seconds to go. New Paltz took advantage of the situation and scored on a floater inside the paint with two seconds remaining to give their team the lead. The Pride did not get a good shot off after the inbounds pass and the final buzzer sounded as the ball came back down and hit the court.
No game, no matter what the sport is, comes down to one play. There are dozens of other things that either go wrong or right during the course of a game that dictates the final score. Head coach Charlie Brock could not agree more.
“The game never comes down to one play at the end,” said Brock. “It always comes down to the body of work. That’s what the team has to see, and hopefully they do.”
Every game, whether the result be good or bad, is a learning experience. Brock believes that his team has definitely learned something from this tough loss.
“We need to identify and correct mistakes that we make while we have possession,” he said. “We shot the ball pretty well, but we gave away too many possessions to win against anyone. We did not do a good job of taking care of the ball and making good decisions with it.”
The Pride will look to get back on track by beating Westfield State on Saturday.