Springfield, Mass. -- December 9, 2011 -- Sparked by Ryan Coburn's two big blocked shots and four free throws in the final 16 seconds, the Springfield College men's basketball team hung on to defeat Trinity College, 60-55, in the Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase at the MassMutual Center this evening. The win, Head Coach Charlie Brock's 200th at Springfield College, raised the Pride's record to 6-2.
Coburn, a 6-8 senior center from West Warwick, R.I., led Springfield with a game-high 16 points, a team-high nine rebounds, and a game-high seven blocked shots. He was followed by senior guard Jordan Rote (Sheffield, Mass.) with 11 points, three rebounds, and three steals.
Junior guard Matt Pascuzzo (Wallingford, Conn.) also had a big game by scoring nine points and adding six rebounds and two assists. The point-guard played an excellent all-around floor game, especially considering starting junior point-guard and SC leading scorer Alex Berthiaume (Springfield, Mass.) was saddled with foul trouble right from the outset, committing two in the first three minutes. Berthiaume was averaging 20.4 points entering the game, but scored just four points tonight, playing but 20 minutes.
For Trinity, freshman guard Varun Ram (Clarkesville, Md.) led with 15 points, followed by sophomore guard Eric Dean (Gilford, N.H.) with 13. Dean also added a game-high 10 rebounds. Freshman center George Papadeas (Athens, Greece) scored eight points and added four rebounds.
Trinity is now 5-3 on the season.
Springfield controlled the game most of the way, leading by 10 points at the half (25-15), then scoring the first nine points of the second half to up its lead to its largest margin at 34-15 with 18:07 remaining.
The Pride held the Bantams to a .138 shooting percentage (4-of-29) in the first half, including .235 from 3-point range (4-of-17).
But after trailing by 19, Trinity began a relentless comeback, outscoring the Pride, 20-6, and cutting the lead to 40-35 with 12:59 to go. SC's lead was kept in the 5-8 point range for the next several minutes, with Springfield maintaining an eight-point edge at 56-48 with 4:26 to go on a Pascuzzo 3-pointer.
But when Papadeas hit a rebound lay-up with 1:02 on the clock, Trinity had cut the SC lead all the way down to one point at 56-55. There were four turnovers committed in the next 34 seconds, three by SC, giving Trinity chances to take the lead..
With 16 seconds left, Ram missed a lay-up when Coburn made the first of his two crucial blocks. Freshman forward Alex Conaway (New Haven, Conn.) controlled the rebound and went to the hoop for the Bantams. But with 13 seconds left, Coburn made his second crucial block in a three-second span.
Dean then fouled Coburn, who made two free throws with 10.4 seconds left, giving SC a 58-55 lead.
Trinity was not through, as Ram attempted a game-tying 3-pointer with three seconds left. The shot missed as Coburn secured the rebound and was fouled. Coburn then made two final free throws with six-tenths of a second remaining to give SC the five-point victory.
Brock is now 200-160 overall as he is coaching in his 14th season at Springfield College. Overall, Brock is now 429-389 in his 32nd season as a head coach.
Springfield will not rest as it travels to play another NESCAC opponent tomorrow at Williams College at 4 pm.
Photo by Cindi Williamson of Fat Dog Fotos.