Late Surge Lifts Springfield Past MIT, 56-53

Senior James Burke
Senior James Burke

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Springfield College used a late surge to overcome a five-point MIT lead with three minutes left to come away with a 56-53 win in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference men's basketball play this evening. Senior James Burke (Scotch Plains, N.J.) hit 5-of-10 three-point attempts and led the Engineers with 18 points. Alex Berthiaume led the Pride with 21 points.

Springfield (11-4, 2-0 NEWMAC) took the early advantage as Robbie Burke scored four of his 11 points over the first three minutes as the Pride took an early 9-2 lead. MIT (10-3, 1-1 NEWMAC) regrouped and charged back into the contest, going on a 17-5 run over a six-minute span. Sophomore Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) started the run for the Engineers with a put back of a missed shot before James Burke hit back-to-back treys that tied the game at the 13:04 mark at 12-all. Senior Mitchell Kates (Colts Neck, N.J.) and freshman Russell Johnson (New York, N.Y.) then sandwiched a pair of threes around a Springfield basket that pumped the MIT lead up to 19-14.

Springfield came back, however, answering a trey from freshman Ryan Frankel (New York, N.Y.) with one from Jordan Rote that cut the Engineers lead down to one at 22-21. Berthiaume then hit a fast break bucket that put the Pride back on top. He followed that with a pair of free throws to increase the lead to three with 4:22 left, a lead that Springfield maintained the rest of the half as it took a 29-27 advantage at the half.

MIT could not make a dent in the Springfield lead over the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Pride led by as many as nine after a pair of free throws from Robbie Burke made it 42-33 with 12:33 left. Springfield still led by eight with 8:27 to play when James Burke caught fire for the Engineers. He went on a personal 9-1 run against the Pride, finishing things off with back-to-back treys that tied the game at 48-48 with 5:23 left.

MIT continued on, surging ahead to a 53-48 lead after a steal and ensuing layup by Kates with 3:13 to play. Berthiaume then turned the tied for Springfield. He broke a four-minute scoreless streak by the Pride with a pair of free throws with 2:50 to play and then connected on a layup after an MIT turnover that brought Springfield within one with two minutes left.

A pair of free throws by Robbie Burke put the Pride back on top and his layup after a missed three by Frankel provided the final margin for Springfield. Senior Will Tashman (Atherton, Calif.) missed on a game-tying attempt from behind the arc as time expired.

MIT hit on 10 of its 23 three-point attempts, but the Pride out shot MIT overall, 49 percent to 40 percent. Led by Redfield's 10 rebounds, the Engineers held a slim 30-28 edge on the boards. Burke was the only player to reach double figures in scoring for MIT, with Redfield adding nine and Frankel connecting on 3-of-4 three-point attempts for nine points as well. Rote also reached double-figures for Springfield, chipping in 10 

It will be home for the first time in a month for MIT as it hosts Coast Guard on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. Springfield will also play on Thursday as it travels to Babson College for a 7:00 p.m. contest.