Chicopee, Mass. - November 15, 2008 - Junior guard Ryan Blackmon tied his career-high with 23 points to go along with five rebounds as the Springfield College men's basketball team opened up the 2008-2009 campaign with a 71-61 win over Castleton State in its season opener.
The game, which was the second contest of the evening in Elms College's Blazer Invitational, was delayed due to condensation on the court due to the high humidity in the area.
With the win, Springfield will play in the championship game on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm against the host Elms Blazers. Elms won its first game of the tournament, 83-66, over Regis.
The Pride, which jumped out to an early 19-2 lead, had four players register double figures in the scoring column. Pat Crean finished with 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists despite dealing with foul trouble in the game. Senior point guard Danny White tallied 11 points, including three from downton, four assists and four, while senior co-captain John Strawson was a force down low all night, as he notched a double-double with 10 points and a career-best 18 rebounds, including nine on the offensive glass. Springfield sophomore Matt Cavalieri also made an impact in the post, chipping in six points and 10 rebounds. Freshman big-man Ryan Coburn tallied five blocks in his first collegiate contest.
Castleton State had no answer for the Pride on the glass, as Springfield held a 53-34 edge in the rebounding department. Springfield held a four-point advantage at the half, 35-31.