Worcester, Mass. - February 13, 2010 - Despite Pat Crean's 18-point, 13-rebound effort, the Springfield College men's basketball team fell on the road at Clark University, 71-54, on Saturday afternoon in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action. The loss snaps the Pride's five-game winning streak as it falls to 12-11 overall, 7-3 in league play.
Clark was powered by the third game of at least 30 points this season from senior forward Mark Alexander. With the win, the Cougars improve to 13-10 overall and 4-6 in league action.
Things started off in fine fashion for Springfield as it scored the game’s first five points and led for the game’s first nine minutes.
The Cougars then took control, going on a 10-0 run to take a 20-13 lead with 9:41 left in the first half. Clark maintained its advantage as the first half wound down and closed the stanza on a quick 5-0 spurt from Alexander, who dropped in a three-pointer and then banked in a fadeaway jumper with four seconds left to give the Cougars a 32-22 halftime edge.
Springfield cut the Clark lead down to four in the first few minutes of the second half, but triples from Alexander and Slader Lyell pushed the Cougars’ advantage back to double digits with a little more than 15 minutes remaining.
Clark put the game away with a 13-4 run over a five-minute span that featured 3-pointers from Lyell and Brian Vayda and another finish inside from Vayda off a feed from Reed Powell.
The lead ballooned to as many as 19, following a baseline one-handed dunk from Alexander before all five seniors, who were honored before the game, were taken out to a rousing ovation.
Clark shot 42 percent from the field, including 53 percent in the second half, and made 16-of-17 free throws. Springfield, meanwhile, shot a frigid 29 percent from the field and made just 24-of-41 free throws.
In addition to his 30 points on 10-for-17 shooting, Alexander added a season-high seven assists, three rebounds and committed just one turnover in 32 minutes. Vayda, who came off the bench for the first time in his career, finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Lyell registered 11 points, nine rebounds and four steals – all season highs.
Other than Crean, Springfield received a solid contribution from Evan Christner, who tallied 11 points and eight rebounds. Springfield was without its leading scorer and rebounder, Matt Cavalieri, who was held out of the game due to an injury.
Springfield will look to get back on the winning track on Wednesday when it travels for a conference clash at WPI.