Babson Park, Mass. -- February 5, 2011 -- Led by Jordan Rote's career-high 20 points, the Springfield College men's basketball team earned its fourth straight win by defeating Babson College, 73-63, this afternoon in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference game at Babson. With the win, the Pride is now 13-8 overall, 6-3 in the NEWMAC.
Babson falls to 9-11 overall, 4-5 in the conference.
Rote (Sheffield, Mass.) led SC with 20 points. He went 6-for-11 from the floor, 2-for-2 from three point range, and 6-for-7 from the free throw line. In his last three games, Rote has blossomed, producing 38 points. In his previous 12 games, he had scored a total of 31 points.
Two members of the Pride, the starting guards, followed with 15 points apiece. Senior co-captain Billy Harkins (Bellmore, N.Y.) went 3-for-7 from the field, 1-for-1 from 3-point range, and 8-for-10 from the charity stripe. He also had five assists and four rebounds. Senior Darvis Rankins (Boston, Mass.) was 4-for-6 from the floor, 1-for-3 from beyond the arc, and 6-for-7 from the free throw line. He also had four rebounds.
Senior co-captain Matt Cavalieri (West Warwick, R.I.) was held to just six points, but did have a team-high seven rebounds. Junior Ryan Coburn (west Warwick, R.I.) finished with seven points and five rebounds.Springfield shot 20-for-42 from the floor in the contest while also hitting 28-of-37 (75.7 percent) from the free throw line.
Babson was led by sophomore Alex Rudolphe (Bal Harbour, Fla.), who scored 14 points and grabbed four boards, and sophomore Russell Braithwaite (Brooklyn, N.Y.), who added 12 points and six rebounds. Junior Kris Noonan (Boothbay Harbor, Maine) was the game’s high rebounder with 10 caroms, while senior captain Matt Zoia (Nashua, N.H.) and junior captain Matt Florio (Skillman, N.J.) tossed in 10 points apiece. The Beavers hit 23-of-56 (41.1 percent) from the field, including just 5-of-20 (25.0 percent) from three-point range, and 12-of-16 (75.0 percent) from the line.
Springfield used a 9-0 run late in the first half to turn a 23-22 deficit into a 31-23 advantage. Rote scored five of his nine first-half points during the stretch, while Harkins and Coburn each added a bucket. Babson would finally end its four-and-a-half minute scoreless streak with a lay-up by sophomore Peter Foley (Wells, Maine) with 2:33 left, but the Pride closed the period with a 6-2 burst to take a 37-27 advantage into halftime.
The visitors pushed their lead to as many as 13 after a conventional three-point play by Cavalieri less than a minute into the second half, and Springfield still led by double-digits after a Coburn lay-up made it 44-33 with 17:30 on the clock. However, a four-point possession by Babson sparked a 13-2 run that brought the Beavers even with 11:36 left in the game. Rudolph scored the first six points of the burst and then capped the run with a three-pointer that knotted the score at 46-46.
Springfield took the lead for good on a three-pointer by Rote that made it 49-46, and four straight free throws pushed the Pride’s lead to seven at 53-46. The Beavers would eventually get back to within three after two free throws by Braithwaite made it 58-55 with 6:50 left to play, but the Pride put the game out of reach with an 8-1 run over the next 2:40. Harkins and Rankins each scored four points during the decisive run, which gave the visitors a 66-56 advantage on their way to the eventual 73-63 win.
The Pride now has five days off before playing its final non-conference game of the year at cross-town rival Western New England College Thursday, Feb. 10 at 8 pm.