Norton, Mass. - February 16, 2013 - The Springfield College men's basketball team used an 18-1 run over the opening 5:30 of the second half to seize control as it wrapped up the regular season with a 64-49 win at Wheaton College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play Saturday.
Springfield improves to 18-7 on the year and will be the third-seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Championship next weekend. The Pride will take on second-seeded MIT at 3:00 pm on Saturday at the top-seed, WPI Wheaton wraps up its 2012-13 season with a 9-15 record overall and 1-11 mark in NEWMAC play.
For the Pride, the 18 wins marks the most victories for the program since the 2004-05 team advanced to the NCAA Tournament and went 22-7.
Springfield College senior guard Alex Berthiaume led all scorers with 14 points, three rebounds, two blocks and one assist. Junior forward Robbie Burke compiled 11 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Classmate Sean Martin added nine points, eight boards, two steals and one assist.
Brian Johnson highlighted the Lyons efforts on the afternoon with his third double-double of the season scoring 14 points while bringing down 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jaycob Morales contributed eight points, five rebounds and one assist. Scott Faucher had seven points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Trailing 28-27 at halftime, the Pride used a 23-3 run over the opening seven minutes and 56-seconds of the second half to claim its largest lead of the contest at 17 points (50-33) and push their win streak to three-straight games. Berthiaume paced the offense with nine points, Martin had five and Burke contributed four points. Sophomore guard Josh Altman had a three-pointer at 13:25 and freshman guard Josh Downes capped the run with a tip-in on a missed layup by Altman.
Wheaton held an eight point advantage, 12-4, at the 13:48 mark of the first half as all three seniors who were dressed accounted for the scoring. Johnson opened up the contest laying in an alley-oop attempt on a nice lob from sophomore Mike O’Loughlin. Johnson added another bucket at 17:58, Gensicki followed with a three-pointer at 17:02 and Faucher buried a three-pointer of his own with 15:16 on the scoreboard. Johnson capped the run with another alley-oop lay-in on beautiful feed from Morales from the left wing.
Springfield cut into the lead with stingy defense recording eight steals during that stretch. Senior guard Jordan Rote had five out of the eight steals in the stanza punctuating his last swipe with a one-handed fast break dunk with 44-seconds remaining in the half.