Springfield, Mass. -- February 10, 2011 --The Springfield College men's basketball team outscored rival Western New England 48-27 in the second half as it surged to a 78-51 win in non-conference action in Blake Arena on Thursday evening. Jordan Rote continued to have the hot hand for the Pride as he poured in 19 points off the bench.
Springfield has now won five straight games to improve to 14-8 on the year, while the Golden Bears drop to 4-18 this season.
Rote, who pumped home a career-best 20 points versus Babson on Saturday, hit 6 of his 9 attempts on the night, including three from behind the arc en route to a game-high 19 points. Matt Cavalieri added 17 points and six rebounds, while Billy Harkins tallied 10 points, adding four steals, and three helpers. Evan Christner also provided a spark off the bench with eight points and a team-best seven caroms.
The Pride finished the game shooting 48.3% (29-60) from the field, including an 18-33 (54.5%) performance in the second half.
For the Golden Bears, both Andre Shaw and Brad Thomka each recorded 10 points in the loss. Conor Lomas snagged a career-best 15 boards, 11 of which came in the first half. As a team, WNEC shot 34% (18-53) for the game and turned the ball over 20 times.
The first half featured eight lead changes and five ties as both teams struggled to find their rhythms. After a Thomka jumper gave the visitors a 21-19 lead with 4:13 remaining in the first half, Springfield opened up a 9-0 run over the next 2:23 to snag a 28-21 lead. The Pride gained their advantage with several trips to the charity stripe as Harkins connected on three free throws and Rote added a pair of freebies. Springfield went into the half with a six-point lead after Cavalieri connected on an 18 footer with three seconds remaining.
Springfield wasted no time seizing control of the game as it went on a 9-3 run in the opening 3:30 of the second half to earn a 39-27 lead. Cavalieri, who scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half, tallied five in the spurt for the Pride. A pair of free-throws by Shaw at the 12:57 mark got the Golden Bears within nine at 42-33, only to have the Pride pour on a 24-6 run over the next 6:52 to blow open the game. Rote dominated the game during the stretch with 12 points as he was able to get to the bucket with ease as well as bury a pair of trifectas. Springfield led by as many as 30 in the game before both squads emptied their benches in the final minutes.
Springfield's bench totaled 36 points in the contest, while the Pride outscored the visitors in the paint, 32-16.
Springfield will next prepare for an important New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game on Saturday afternoon against Clark. Game time is scheduled for 3:00 pm.