Westfield, Mass. - December 11, 2013 - Tim Swenson's (Millbury, Mass.) 15-rebound, 14-point performance fueled the Springfield College men's basketball team to a gritty 67-59 win at Westfield State on Wednesday evening in non-league play.
The victory brings the Pride's record to 6-2, while the Owls drop to 6-3.
In his second-straight double-double, Swenson was especially efficient from the floor, hitting six of his seven shots in the contest. Sean Martin (Rindge, N.H.) added 13 points, including a 7-for-8 performance from the charity stripe to go along with six assists, while his first start at Springfield College, Alex Garstka (Westfield, Mass.) netted 11 points and tacked on three helpers in his homecoming.
Grant Cooper scored a game-high 15 points and yanked a team-high nine rebounds for Westfield State. Freshman reserve guard Joe Crapps was the only other player in double figures with 10 points. More than half (30) of Westfield’s points came from the bench.
For the game, Springfield shot 48.8% from the floor, hitting 21 of their 43 bids, including 8-for-18 from behind the arc. Despite Westfield State holding a 44-32 edge on the glass, including a 24-6 cushion on the offensive boards, the Pride held the hosts to just 30% shooting (21-for-73).
After the Pride fell behind 20-19 with six minutes to play in the opening half, Springfield scored eight unanswered points, highlighted by a three-point play by Martin, to take regain a 27-20 advantage with 3:47 on the clock.
The hosts answered back with a 9-0 spurt of their own, only to have the Pride close out the final 1:49 on a 8-0 burst, thanks to five free throws and a triple by Garstka, to go into the half with a 35-29 lead.
A Nick Sienkiewicz (Cranston, R.I.) trifecta 3:03 into the second half allowed Springfield's lead to grow to 11. The Pride would go on to lead as much as 12 on two occasions, the last time coming on a conventional three-point play by Garstka with 6:52 left in regulation.
The Owls would get no closer than seven the rest of the way, and Springfield sealed the game with five three throws by Martin in the last minute of play.
The Pride will play its final game of the 2013 calendar year on Friday evening when it hosts Worcester State at 7:00 pm.