AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College men's basketball team earned their biggest victory of the year so far on Tuesday night when they defeated #21 Springfield College 76-70, handing the Pride their first loss of the year after a wildly entertaining game at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Eric Sellew '20 had 17 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to lead five Mammoths in double-figures.
Amherst (5-2) took a 13-point lead into the halftime locker room, but then needed to withstand a second-half rally that saw the Pride take the lead with as little as 3:13 left to play.
Sellew converted a three-point play to give Amherst the lead for good, and Garrett Day '21 hit a three-pointer with thirty-eight seconds left to put the Mammoths ahead 74-70.
Springfield (7-1) senior Jake Ross matched his season average with a game-high 31 points. Ross added ten rebounds for a double-double, shot 10-17 from the floor and was a perfect 9-9 at the foul line. He also had two assists, a steal and two blocks.
Devonn Allen '22 scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Amherst, including a perfect 4-4 from behind the three-point line. His triple with 16:46 to play put the Mammoths up comfortably, 52-35.
From there the Pride mounted their comeback, beginning with three free-throws by Heath Post and a three-point play by Trey Witter.
The Pride tied the game at 58 on two free-throws by Ross, and then took their first lead of the second half when Post, who finished with 12 points, hit a jump shot at 7:45.
The two sides went back and forth on the odd number in a game that featured 11 lead changes. Allen made his fourth three-pointer to put Amherst ahead 67-65, but Noah Cummings answered from long range on the Pride's next time down the court.
Day fed Sellew for the and-one play with 1:41 left to play and then capped his 14-point day with a triple from the top of the key and two free-throws with 22 seconds to play to seal the victory for the Mammoths.
Outside of Ross, who had 18 of his points in the first half, Amherst held Springfield to just 5-18 shooting and 0-5 from three-poit range in the opening twenty minutes.
Amherst opened up a 10-2 lead before the Pride fought back to grab a 12-10 advantage on a three-pointer by Ross.
Sellew scored seven of the next ten points for Amherst in another 10-0 run for the home team. Amherst would also put together a 13-0 run towards the late stages of the first half, this time with Robinson doing the bulk of the work, with three layups and a trifecta for nine points.
The Mammoths shot 54.5% from the floor in the first half and took a 42-29 lead into the break.
Day had three assists and three rebounds for Amherst while Witter finished the night with 11 points and two dimes for the Pride.
Amherst's final home game of 2019 will be on Thursday when the Mammoths entertain Pine Manor College. Tip-off is set for 5:30 PM.