Amherst Runs Out to Big Lead, Fends Off Pride 76-67

Amherst Runs Out to Big Lead, Fends Off Pride 76-67

SPRINGFIELD, Mass -- The Amherst College men's basketball team opened up an 18 point lead over Springfield College at halftime on Tuesday evening and then held off a second-half charge by the Pride for a 76-67 non-conference win in Blake Arena.

Amherst, which was among teams receiving votes in the latest National Poll, improves to 7-1, while the loss dropped the Pride's record to 2-6. 

Eric Sellew '20 put together a solid all-around showing, totaling 17 points, two steals, three assists, a block and nine rebounds, including six on the offensive glass, to pace the visitors. Grant Robinson '21 added 12 points and seven rebounds of his own, while Fru Che '21 chipped in 12 points and Joseph Schneider '19 was credited with 10 points and seven caroms.

Amherst outscored Springfield 40-26 in the paint and outrebounded the Pride 48-30 in the contest.

Cam Earle carried the offensive load for Springfield, pouring in 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while Jake Ross contributed 18 points, six rebounds, six assists, and four steals.  

The Mammoths jumped out to a 19-8 lead following a Robinson finish in the lane at the 12:59 mark, but Springfield would respond with a 7-3 push as Earle cashed in on a triple from the left wing to make it a 22-15 game with 11:32 to play.  

Over the next three-plus minutes, the Mammoths erupted for an 18-5 surge as they went 7-of-9 from the field, highlighted by a pair of triples from Garrett Day '21, who finished with eight points off the Amherst bench. 

Springfield would get as close as 16 following a three-pointer by Deonte Sandifer with 3:07 on the clock and Amherst would take a 45-27 lead into the break. 

Earle drilled a straightaway triple at the 12:30 mark of the second half to make it a 51-38 game in favor of Amherst, but the visitors would score seven of the game's next nine points to regain an 18-point cushion following another inside finish by Sellew.

Springfield used an 8-1 surge capped off by a tough inside score by Ross to pull the hosts within 66-57 as the Mammoths burned a timeout with 6:09 on the clock.  After Amherst built their lead back to 11 with 5:02 left, five-straight points from Ross made it just a six-point game with 1:44 on the clock. 

Amherst would benefit from an elbow jumper by Robinson the next time down the court to kickstart a 6-2 burst, a run in which Robinson scored all his team's points, as the Mammoths held on for the 76-67 victory. 

Josh Chery '20 led the Mammoths with five assists, to go with five points, six rebounds, two steals and a block.

Amherst is off for a few weeks before hosting Hunter College on October 30th at 2:00 PM. Springfield will play again on Saturday when it hosts Westfield State at 3 pm.