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Amherst and Elms Prevail in Second Day of Pioneer Valley Classic

Alex Berthiaume Springfield/Elms Box Score

Springfield, Mass -- December 3, 2011 -- Despite a game-high 25 points from Alex Berthiaume, the Springfield College men's basketball team dropped a 69-59 decision to visiting Elms College in the Pioneer Valley Classic on Saturday evening at Blake Arena.

Elms improves to 2-3 win the win, while Springfield dropped its second-straight game to fall to 5-2.

Andre French, a sophomore guard from Torrington, Conn., led the Blazers with 21 points. He was 9-for-22 from the floor, following his record-setting night last night when he scored 36 points.

Two others scored 12 points apiece for Elms. They were junior point-guard Charles Bason (Riverdale, Md.) and junior forward Jamal Hulum (Norfolk, Va.).

As for the Pride, other than Berthiaume's 25, two others added seven points. They were senior guard Jordan Rote (Sheffield, Mass.) and freshman guard Josh Altman (Rockport, Mass.).

Springfield owned a five-point lead at the 11:21 mark after an Altman 3--pointer made the score 18-13. The Blazers responded with a 9-0 run over the next 2:09, highlighted by five points from French to gain a 22-18 advantage. The visitors lead would grow to as much as nine (28-19), but the Pride was able to battle back to get to within five on a pair of occasions. Elms would eventually head into the intermission with a 32-26 lead.

In the second half, Elms would never relinquish the lead. The closest SC got was three points at 45-42 with 11:46 to go on a lay-up by freshman guard Nick Sienkiewicz (Cranston, R.I.). SC was within five with 44 seconds left on a Berthiaume 3-pointer, but that was the Pride's last hurrah.

Up next, SC will be playing Trinity at 5 pm next Friday (Dec. 9) at the MassMutual Center. (Please note the time).

Amherst 79, Westfield State 62
Amherst/Westfield State Box Score

Springfield, Mass -- December 3, 2011 -- The Amherst College men's basketball team held off a spirited rally by Westfield State to topple the Owls, 79-62, in the Pioneer Valley Classic on Saturday afternoon at SC's Blake Arena.

The Lord Jeffs, which are currently ranked third in the nation, improve to 6-0 on the season, while the Owls drop to 5-2.

Amherst was once again led by sophomore guard Aaron Toomey (Greensboro, N.C.) with 20 points. Three others scored in double figures for the Lord Jeffs. They included junior guard Willy Workman (Northampton, Mass.) with 16, senior guard Taylor Barrise (Allendale, N.J.) with 14, and senior guard/forward David Waller (Tampa, Fla.) with 10. Workman also had a game-high 10 rebounds and three assists.

Westfield State was led by junior guard Lee Vazquez (Attleboro, R.I.) with 25 points. He also had seven rebounds, three assists, and four steals. The only other double-figure scorer for the Owls included 6-7 junior center Matt Devine (Pembroke, Mass.) with 11 points. Devine also had two blocks.

The Lord Jeffs raced out to an early 14-4 lead after Toomey buried a deep three at the 16:02 mark. An inside bucket by senior center Ryan DeLosa (Leeds, N.Y.) brought the Owls within six just under a minute later. But Amherst proved to be too strong as they blew open the game with a 15-2 run over the next seven-plus minutes to take a 29-10 lead.

The Lord Jeffs, who were able to turn 14 Westfield State turnovers into 19 points, went into the locker room up 24, 46-22.

In the second half, Amherst led by as many as 27 points at 51-24 with 16:20 remaining. But the Owls never gave up, and eventually cut the margin to as few as 13 points, 60-47, with 8:20 to go.

The Lord Jeffs raised it to 23 points once again at 77-54 with 3:01 to go. Amherst shot .426 for the game, while Westfield State shot .345. Amherst enjoyed the edge in rebounding, 38-34.

Photo by Cindi Williamson of Fat Dog Fotos

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Charlie Brock Charlie Brock in 2013-14 will enter his 16th season as the head coach at Springfield College and his 34th season as a head coach overall. Brock’s achievements as a coach are certainly impressive. He has taken three schools to the NCAA Division III Tournament and has an overall, 32-year record of 440-397. Read more.

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