Springfield, Mass. - January 13, 2010 - Led by Ryan Coburn's career night of 20 points, 13 rebounds, and seven blocks, the Springfield College men's basketball team toppled visiting Wheaton College, 78-61, in a clash of New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) rivals on Wednesday evening at Blake Arena.
With the win, Springfield has now won five straight to up its record to 7-8. In NEWMAC play, the Pride leads the league with a 3-0 mark. Wheaton, meanwhile, is now 5-8 overall, 1-2 in conference play.
Springfield had five players score in double figures tonight, including Coburn, a sophomore center from West Warwick, R.I., with 20 points. Behind Coburn were junior forward Matt Cavalieri (West Warwick, R.I.) with 14 points (and a game-high 16 rebounds), senior guard Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.) with 12 points, and junior guard Billy Harkins (Bellmore, N.Y.) and senior forward Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) with 10 points apiece.
Wheaton was led by reserve P.J. Walters, a freshman guard from Hempstead, N.Y. with 17 points. The only other double-figure scorer for the Lyons was senior guard Jaxon Leo (Leesburg, Va.) with 13 points. Leo also led Wheaton with 6 rebounds.
It must be noted that Wheaton played without its top three scorers, all of whom suffered recent injuries. They included junior guard Anthony Coppola (Watertown, Mass.) (19.7 ppg), senior forward Ben Stehle (Newton, Mass.) (8.3 ppg), and sophomore guard Brendan Degnan (Narragansett, R.I.) (12.4 ppg).
Wheaton had the better of it in the game's early moments, taking 7-0 and 9-2 leads. But SC outscored the Lyons, 32-7, the rest of the half to take a 34-16 lead at the intermission. Springfield led by as many as 26 points (48-22) with 14:21 remaining on a Coburn lay-up. But the Lyons played a gritty brand of ball the rest of the way, cutting the margin to as few as 15 points (75-60) with 1:39 left.
Springfield will next play at MIT, owner of the league's best overall record (14-1) next Wednesday in Cambridge at 7 pm. Wheaton will next host Babson Saturday at 2 pm.