By Danny Priest
SPRINGFIELD — On Tuesday night the Springfield College Men’s Basketball team took to the court inside of Blake Arena looking to snap a five-game losing skid and earn their first victory of the season on their home court.
To do so the Pride had to get past a difficult opponent in the Amherst College Mammoths. The Mammoths entered the game at 6-1 and had recently been ranked as high as No. 19 in the NCAA Division III men’s basketball rankings.
On Tuesday night the Mammoths used their size and brute force to bully their way past Springfield and earn a 76-67 victory. The loss was the sixth in a row for Springfield after they had started the year a perfect 2-0.
Amherst (7-1) came out of the gates and immediately established a physical tone of play from the start. They attacked the Pride (2-6) inside and built up a 19-8 lead just over seven minutes into the game.
The inside combination of Eric Sellew (17 points, 9 rebounds) and Joseph Schneider (10 points, 7 rebounds) dominated the interior for Amherst and helped the team build a massive advantage in rebounds.
By the time the first half came to a close Amherst had mounted a 25-11 advantage over the Pride in rebounds and they also drilled five three pointers to accumulate a 45-27 lead.
In the second half Springfield gave their best effort to fight back, but their attack proved to be too-little, too-late. With 1:44 remaining they had cut the deficit all the way down to six, 68-62, but each time the Pride went on a run, the Mammoths answered.
Cam Earle (20 points, 4 three-pointers) did all he could in the second half to keep the Pride in it — but it was not enough. Jake Ross (18 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists) played a solid all around game, but the Amherst defense was locked in on him and forced him into just 8-24 shooting and 0-6 on threes.
For Springfield, their next game will come on Saturday December, 15th when they host Westfield State University back in Blake Arena. The Pride will look to get back on a winning track and snap their losing streak where it stands now at six games.
Featured photo courtesy of Chris Barry