No. 23 Mammoths Break Away from Springfield In Final Minutes, 71-66

No. 23 Mammoths Break Away from Springfield In Final Minutes, 71-66

AMHERST, Mass. – The No. 23 Amherst College Men's Basketball team got back to their winning ways Tuesday evening at Lefrak Gymnasium, breaking away from non-conference foe Springfield College in the final minutes to claim a 71-66 victory over the Pride.

With the win, Amherst improves to 7-1 on the season, while Springfield falls to 4-3 overall. The Mammoths next hit the court on Saturday, Dec. 30 when they travel to Southeastern in Florida for a 2 p.m. matchup. 

Fru Che '21 lead the way offensively for Amherst, scoring 17 points on 7-11 shooting and 3-5 from downtown, in addition to chipping in six rebounds. Johnny McCarthy '18 also provided clutch offense for the Mammoths, scoring 16 points on 6-10 shooting with five rebounds and five assists.

Amherst struggled to get going in the opening minutes of the first half, trailing by as many as nine points seven minutes into the contest before two layups by Che and two points by Michael Riopel '18 cut the Springfield lead to three at the midway mark. The teams traded points in the final 10 minutes before the half, with Post nailing a three to give Springfield a 30-28 lead with less than 10 seconds on the clock.

Grant Robinson '21 countered with time winding down, hitting a buzzer beating three-pointer to give the Mammoths a 31-30 edge at intermission. 

Amherst shot 45% in the first 20 minutes of action compared to Springfield's 39% from the field, in an exciting battle that featured 10 lead changes heading into the second.

Springfield started the second half on a 5-0 run, however Amherst quickly tied it back up at 35-35 before back-to-back threes by Che put the Mammoths on top, 44-42. The two teams continued to trade buckets through the majority of the half, with the scored tied as late as the 3:27 mark, 62-62.

Breaking away in the final minutes, layups from Tim McCarthy '21 and Eric Sellew '20 gave the home team a 67-62 edge, their largest lead of the half, with two minutes on the clock. An Amherst foul behind the arc gave Springfield three shots at the line, with the Pride going two-for-three to make it a one possession game, 67-64. Grant Robinson '21 responded by drilling a clutch runner from the top of the key with 10 seconds to play to help seal the victory for the Mammoths.