WESTFIELD, Mass. – Springfield College senior Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass./Williston) posted a huge game with 30 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four blocks as th #21-ranked Pride rallied past Westfield State, 80-67 in a local rivalry non-conference men's basketball game at the Woodward Center on Friday evening.
Westfield (7-4) led 37-28 at the half, as Westfield limited the pride to just 23 percent shooting (9-39) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.
Springfield (8-0) chipped away at the Owls lead in the second half, finally grabbing the lead at 51-50 on a Sam Dion three-pointer with 12:15 left to play. After Westfield's Jauch Green, Jr. (Hartford, Conn./Cromwell) answered with a step-back jumper to regain the lead, the Pride got back to back three pointers from Collin Lindsay (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Ross to push the lead to 57-52.
Westfield had the Pride lead down to as few as three points, 65-62 with aGreen drive with 6:32 left, but Ross was clutch down the stretch, scoring seven of the Pride's final 15 points to help close the game out.
The Owls' Green matched Ross nearly shot for shot, as he finished with 27 points on 8-22 shooting and 9-10 at the foul line. Vawn Lord (West Springfield, Mass./Amherst) added 16 points for the Owls, and Marcus Collins (Cambridge, Mass./Rindge and Latin_ added 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Springfield got 16 points off the bench from Trey Witter (Unionville, Conn./Farmington), and 10 points from Lindsay. Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Pride shot 55.9 percent from the floor in the second half in a dramatic reversal from the first. Springfield held a 52-40 edge in total rebounds and grabbed 21 offensive rebounds in creating multiple second and third-chances on their offensive end.
Westfield State will take a break for final exams before returning to action with a road game at Roger Williams on Monday, Dec. 30. Springfield has also played its final game of the first semester, and will return to action when they host the Naismith/West Springfield Holiday Inn Classic on January 3 and 4.