Springfield, Mass. – January 3, 2014 - The Springfield College men’s basketball team had five players score in double-digit figures en route to an 84-77 win over Lyndon State College in the opening round of the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic Friday night in Blake Arena.
Springfield improves to 8-2 with the win while Lyndon State drops to 2-7 with the loss. The Pride will take on Bridgewater State in the championship game on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Lyndon State will play in the consolation game at 3:30 against Wesleyan.
Tim Swenson (Millbury, Mass.) had a dominant first half for the Pride, nearly notching a double-double before heading to the locker room. The senior racked up 10 points and nine rebounds in the first. He finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Sean Martin (Rindge, N.H.) scored a game-high 19 points while adding six assists, five steals and four rebounds for the Pride. Also putting up double-digit figures for Springfield was Robbie Burke (Cheshire, Mass.) with 14 points while Alex Garstka (Westfield, Mass) and Nick Sienkiewicz (Cranston, R.I.) added 11 points each.
Springfield led by as much as eight points in the first half with solid play from Martin and Swenson. Martin kept the Pride in the game early on as Lyndon State came within one point with under two minutes left in the half. Martin racked up four steals before halftime, converting quick baskets on three of them.
Howard Lyles (Washington, D.C.) brought the Hornets within one point with 1:25 left in the first, the closest they would get, but the Pride rattled off five unanswered points on baskets by Garstka and Martin to make it a 37-31 game at halftime.
Springfield went on a 12-0 run to start the second half to take a 44-31 lead, but the Hornets answered back with a seven point run of their own. Josh Bosworth (East Longmeadow, Mass.) ended the scoreless drought on a three-pointer from the left side with 17:11 to go. David Johnson (Washington, D.C.) and George Carle (Central Falls, R.I.) scored on consecutive possessions for Lyndon State to make it a 44-38 game, forcing Springfield to call timeout.
The Hornets did everything they could to stay in the game, scoring 25 of their points off turnovers, but Springfield never gave up the lead.
With 9:39 left to play, Lyndon State’s Rob Alers (Central Falls, R.I.) drained a three-pointer to make it a two-point game but Larry Piretra (Oakland, N.J.) answered back for the Pride with a three of his own at the other end of the court, giving Springfield a 58-53 lead. On the next possession, another Springfield turnover gave Lyndon State an easy basket for a 58-55 game.
Springfield held a 64-58 lead with under six minutes to go and Lyndon State missed two key free throws that could’ve made it a four-point game. Instead, Springfield extended the lead to 10 points on free throws by Martin and a basket by Burke.
Missed free throws were big for Lyndon State down the stretch, as the Hornets again had a chance to close the gap, but two more misses and Springfield led 68-63 with under four minutes to play.
With 3:10 left on the clock, Martin drew a foul at midcourt and knocked down both of his free throws to give the Pride a 72-64 lead.
With just over two minutes left in the game, Johnson drained a three-pointer to bring the Hornets within four points and a Springfield foul on the next possession gave JoJo Woodruff a trip to the foul line where he knocked down both shots, making it a 74-72 game.
On the next possession, Swenson took the ball straight to the hoop for a quick basket and a 76-72 game. In the game’s final minute, the Pride picked up eight points on five Lyndon State fouls to seal the deal. Springfield shot 31-of-55 (56.4%) from the field, 3-of-13 (23.1%) from behind the arc and 19-of-26 (73.1%) from the foul line.
Lyndon State also had five players score in double-digit figures, led by Alers with a team-high 17 points. Johnson and Bosworth each finished with 14 points, Woodruff added 12 and Carle had 10 for the Hornets. Lyndon State shot 27-of-59 (45.8%) from the field, 10-of-21 (47.6%) from three and 13-of-20 (65%) from the foul line.
BRIDGEWATER STATE 75, WESLEYAN 65
The Bridgewater State University men’s basketball team earned a 75-65 win over Wesleyan University on Friday night in the opening round of the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic in Blake Arena.
The Bears improve to 5-5 on the season with the win while Wesleyan falls to 5-5 with the loss. Bridgewater State advances to the championship game to take on host Springfield College on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Wesleyan will play Lyndon State in the consolation game at 3:30.
Wesleyan opened the game with eight unanswered points on baskets by Joe Edmonds (Oklahoma City, Okla.), Rashid Epps (Albrightsville, Pa.) and Brian Bartner (Florham Park, N.J.), but Bridgewater State quickly answered back with a 10-0 run of its own.
Justin Clark (Yarmouth Port, Mass.) ended the Bears’ drought with a basket and a foul to make it an 8-3 game with 16:54 to play in the half. Michael Lofton (Mansfield, Mass.) made it a three point game then Clark drained a three-pointer with 16:02 left in the first half to tie it up at eight apiece. Bridgewater State took its first lead of the game on a basket by Brendan Monteiro (Brockton, Mass.) with 14:40 left in the half.
Bridgewater State led by as much as 10 points in the first half as Barrett Murphy (Marshfield, Mass.) knocked down a jumper with 6:07 left in the half to take a 27-17 lead.
Wesleyan came within three points late in the half on two free throws from Harry Rafferty (Dubuque, Ia.) with 2:59 on the clock making it a 29-26 game, but the Bears extended their lead to nine points before heading into the locker room as Monteiro scored on back-to-back possessions before time expired to take a 36-27 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Wesleyan made it a three-point game with 15 minutes left to play after BJ Davis (Hamden, Conn.) knocked down a three-pointer to make it 40-37.
Murphy drained a three for Bridgewater to bring the lead back up to five points with 12:50 left on the clock. Murphy knocked down another three with 11:14 left to play, giving the Bears a 49-40 lead.
Wesleyan made it interesting though, closing the gap to just three points as Jack Mackey (Warwick, N.Y.) sunk two free throws to make it a 55-52 game with 6:20 left in the game. That's as close as the Cardinals would come, as Bridgewater State led by as much as 11 points down the stretch with free throws by Murphy, Lofton and Garey Allen (Windsor, Conn.) in the game's final minute. Lofton iced the game with a dunk in the final eight seconds.
Bridgewater State was led by Murphy with a team-high 16 points. Lofton finished with 14 points, Clark had 13 points and seven rebounds and Allen added 10 points.
Wesleyan was led by Rafferty with a game-high 19 points. Edmonds added 15 points and Epps finished with a double-double, 13 rebounds and 12 points.