SPRINGFIELD, Mass., November 22, 2005- Tufts University junior guard David Shepherd connected on two-of-three free throws with just five seconds left in regulation, giving the Jumbos their first lead of the game, as Tufts slipped past the Springfield College Pride this evening, 72-71, in SC’s 2005-2006 home opener in Blake Arena.
Springfield College senior guard Derek Yvon (East Longmeadow, Mass.) led all scorers with 25 points on 4-of-5 shooting from three-point land, as SC (0-3) came out firing in the game, knocking down its first four field goals of the contest to take an 11-3 lead just three minutes in. The Pride maintained its lead for the remainder of the first half, going into the break with a 41-33 edge. In that opening stanza, Yvon poured in 16, and senior forward Mike DeCesar (Acton, Mass.) added 12 points and six rebounds.
In the second half, SC built its largest lead of the game with 16:38 left in the contest on a three-pointer from senior guard Jim Mack (Westfield, Mass.), making the score 51-37 in favor of the Pride. The Jumbos (2-1) clawed their way back into the contest, however, chipping away at the lead over the next 14 minutes of action. With 1:54 left in the game, Tufts senior Dan Martin made two free throws to put the Jumbos within just one point, at 71-70. Martin had a team-best 23 points in the game, connecting on nine of his 12 field goals to go along with six rebounds.
With the score still 71-70, Tufts got the ball back as Shepherd was fouled with just five seconds left on a three-point attempt. After missing the first attempt, the junior guard nailed the second, and after an SC timeout, Shepherd calmly made the third free throw to give the Jumbos its first lead of the game (72-71).
That score proved to be the final, as Yvon’s runner in the paint at the buzzer just missed. SC falls to 0-3 on the young season, having lost all three match-ups by a total of six points. SC’s Mike DeCesar added 16 points and nine rebounds in the game, as sophomore guard Jamaal Gibbs (Norwalk, Conn.) chipped in with 10 points and five boards.
The Pride will next travel to Curry College for a non-conference game on Tuesday night, November 29, in a 7:00 p.m. start.