Springfield, Mass. -- February 18, 2012 -- Jordan Rote scored 17 points and Ryan Coburn had 11 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks to lead the Springfield College men's basketball team to a 79-52 victory over Wheaton College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference game this afternoon at SC's Blake Arena. It was the regular-season finale for both teams.
With the win, Springfield ups its overall record to 16-9 and to 7-5 in the NEWMAC. Wheaton ends at 11-13 overall, and 4-8 in the conference.
Springfield will advance to next weekend's NEWMAC post-season tournament at MIT and will be the third seed. The Pride will take on second-seeded WPI, and will play the second game next Saturday afternoon in Cambridge.
As a team, SC played well in many phases, especially in shooting from the floor (31-of-62, .500) and in rebounding (49-33). Springfield also blocked 17 shots.
Prior to the game, the Springfield basketball team celebrated its Senior Day, honoring two from that class. The two were Coburn, a center from West Warwick, R.I. who contributed two assists and a steal in 29 minutes to go along with the totals listed above, and center-forward Evan Christner of Voorheesville, N.Y., who had nine points, five rebounds, and two blocks in 26 minutes.
For the Lyons, two players scored in double figures. They included senior guard Anthony Weeks (Fitchburg, Mass.) with 13 points and five rebounds, and senior guard Brendan Degnan (Narragansett, R.I.) with 10 points and four rebounds. Freshman forward Eddie Capstick (Worcester, Mass.) had eight points, four rebounds, and three steals.
After a sloppy start to the game, Springfield started to find its stride and snagged an early 9-4 lead with 13:59 on the clock after Rote leaked out for a fast-break layup.
Springfield pushed its lead to 11 just over three minutes later thanks to a pair of free throws from Rote as the Pride led 17-6. After three freebies by Wheaton, including two from sophomore guard Will Bayliss (Manchester, N.H.) cut the lead to eight, the Pride went on a 9-2 run to take a 26-11 lead. The Lyons would get as close as 10, trailing 28-18 with 3:06 to go, before Springfield netted the final four points to head into the half up 36-18.
In the first half, Springfield was extremely efficient from the field, hitting 15-of-27 (.556), while limiting the Lyons to just 6-of-30 shooting (.200).
In the second half, Wheaton got off to a promising start by scoring nine of the first 11 points. Twice the Lyons closed the margin to 11 points, the second at 42-31 with 14:57 left. But in the next seven minutes or so, SC outscored Wheaton, 19-4 -- and with 8:04 left SC was in command 61-35.
Eventually the Pride led by as many as 34 at 75-41 with 2:47 left on a lay-up by center RJ Anderson. Wheaton finished up by outscoring SC, 11-4, the rest of the way.