Twelve first half turnovers troubled the Armor as Erie build a lead as big as 8 midway through the second quarter. Despite not taking care of the ball, Springfield was able to trim the lead to 5 by the halftime break. Erie led 48-43 heading into the second half. BayHawks center, John Bryant, led all first half scorers with 17 points and finished the game with 27.
A quick 7-0 BayHawks run built their lead up to 11 halfway through the third quarter as Bryant continued to score inside and Erie guard Mike Gansey hit two long distance bombs. Armor leading scorer Almond shrugged off his early shooting troubles to score 12 points in the quarter and hit a late three-pointer to trim the Erie lead to just 2 going into the final quarter.
Buoyed by UMass alum Dante Milligan’s defense on Bryant, Springfield took their first lead since the first quarter on a layup by JamesOn Curry. The two teams traded leads throughout the fourth, before a wild final minute featuring several big shots. Almond’s free throws gave Springfield a 91-89 lead with only a minute left, then BayHawks forward Jackie Manuel nailed a long jumper on the other end to tie it back up. With just 20 seconds on the clock, Gansey hit a scoop shot to put Erie back on top. TJ Cummings missed a jumper on the final possession and Erie walked away with a road win, 93-91.
Almond led Springfield (5-19) with 28 points. Gansey and Bryant each scored 27 for Erie (12-16).
The Armor take on the Austin Toros again on February 6th at the MassMutual Center in their Salute the Badges Knight at 7 p.m. Tickets are still on sale and can be purchased by logging on to www.armorhoops.com or by visiting the MassMutual Center Box Office. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9-5, Saturday, 10 to game time.