Springfield, Mass. -- January 3, 2010 -- Ryan Blackmon scored 24 points to lead his Springfield College men's basketball team to an exciting 66-61 victory over SUNY-Purchase in the men's championship game of the Hampton Inn/Naismith Classic tonight at Springfield College's Blake Arena. Earlier in the day, Shasha Brown scored 21 points and added 9 assists and 4 steals to lead his Wesleyan team to an 88-71 victory over Salve Regina University in the men's consolation game.
Championship Game Story -- Springfield 66, SUNY-Purchase 61
Blackmon, a senior guard from Stamford, Conn. who is considered a streaky shooter, played a very good game this evening, especially in the first half when he tallied 20 of his 24 points. Joining Blackmon as double-figure scorers from the Pride were junior forward Matt Cavalieri (West Warwick, R.I.) and senior forward Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.). Both Cavalieri and Crean were named to the All-Tourney Team. Cavalieri had 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Crean had 10 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks in 35 minutes. Also contributing was junior guard Billy Harkins (Bellmore, N.Y.), who made his first two starts in the past two nights. Harkins had 6 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals in 29 minutes this evening.
Meanwhile, SUNY-Purchase was led by junior forward Marvin Billups (Chester, N.Y.), who finished with a tourney-high 33 points and 11 rebounds. Billups was named the Tourney MVP, despite the losing effort. He also had 3 assists, 3 blocks, and 4 steals. Junior guard Michael McNair (Valley Cottage, N.Y.) also scored in double-figures with 11 points. Junior forward/center Charles Thompson (Upper Marlboro, Md.) finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds, as well as 4 steals. Thompson also made the All-Tourney Team.
Springfield led 38-27 at the half. Purchase led only once in this game -- at 4-3 with 17:37 left in the first half. SC led by as many as 14 points twice in the half -- at 21-7 with 8:24 left, and 38-24 with 49 seconds left. Purchase got as close as four points (62-58) with 3:22 left in the game when Billups made two free throws. Down by five, McNair had the game's last shot, a three-point attempt, with five seconds left. But SC sophomore center Ryan Coburn (West Warwick, R.I.) pulled in the rebound to close it out.
For the game, Springfield shot .382 (21-of-55) from the field, while Purchase shot just .290 (18-of-62). The Panthers outrebounded the Pride, 45-38. Turnovers were about even -- Purchase with 16, SC with 17. SC made seven 3-pointers, with six of those coming from Blackmon.
Consolation Game Story -- Wesleyan 88, Salve Regina 71
Springfield, Mass. -- January 3, 2010 -- Shasha Brown scored 21 points and added 9 assists and 4 steals to lead his Wesleyan University men's basketball team to an 88-71 victory over Salve Regina University in the men's consolation game of the Hampton Inn/Naismith Classic this afternoon at Springfield College's Blake Arena.
With the win, Wesleyan is now 5-5, while Salve Regina drops to 1-9 overall.
Three others beside Brown, a freshman guard from the Bronx, N.Y., scored in double figures for the Cardinals. They were senior guard Jeremy Kaminer (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and freshman guard David Fogel (Hewlett Bay Park, N.Y.) with 12 points each, plus freshman forward Mike Callaghan (Madison, Conn.) with 10 more. Callaghan also had 7 rebounds. Sophomore guard/forward Jason Mendell (Bedford, N.Y.) finished with 8 points and a team-high 9 rebounds.
For the Seahawks of Salve Regina, senior guard Jabreche Boyd (West Haven, Conn.) led with a game-high 26 points. Also scoring in double figures for Salve were junior forward Dan Royce (Mahwah, N.J.) with 17 points, and junior guard Ryan Birrell (Hope, R.I.) with 12. Royce also had a game-high 12 rebounds. Freshman guard Trey Scales (Boston, Mass.) finished with 8 points and a game-high 6 assists.
Already named to the men's All-Tournament Team are Shasha Brown from Wesleyan and Ryan Birrell from Salve Regina.
The game was pretty much decided in the first half as the Cardinals took a 42-27 lead at the intermission. Wesleyan never trailed. And when Kaminer made a lay-up wth 17:05 remaining, the Cardinals were in the lead for good. A jumper by freshman guard Derick Beresford (Hampton, Ga.) with 44 seconds left actually gave Wesleyan a 20-point lead at 42-22.
With 13:32 remaining in the second half, a Fogel lay-up gave Wesleyan a 25-point margin, its largest of the game, at 68-43. But Salve was not quite done. The Seahawks then ran off 14 straight points, the last coming on a Royce lay-up, to cut the lead to 11 (68-57) with still 11:01 left.
But Wesleyan then outscored Salve, 20-9, to take an 88-66 lead with 3:11 to play, before winning by the final 17-point margin.
Wesleyan shot the ball very well -- .507 (36-for-71) -- for the game. The Cardinals also outrebounded Salve, 41-34.
Ryan Birrell - Salve Regina
Shasha Brown - Wesleyan
Pat Crean - Springfield
Matt Cavalieri - Springfield
Charles Thompson - SUNY Purchase
Marvin Billups - SUNY Purchase - MVP