Springfield, Mass. - February 6, 2010 - Pat Crean recorded 19 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 21 seconds remaining, as the Springfield College men's basketball team rallied in the final minutes past Babson College, 71-68, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest.
The win boosts Springfield's record to 11-10, 7-2 in league action, while the Beavers drop to 9-12, 2-7.
Springfield has now 9 of its last 11 games, including the last four by a combined 11 points.
Crean added six rebounds and six assists to his 19 points as he went a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe. Matt Cavalieri finished with a game-high 22 points , while Ryan Coburn chipped in with 16 points and six rebounds. The three big men had their way in the contest as they combined for 57 points and were a major reason why Springfield outscored Babson in the paint, 40-16. Billy Harkins added a team-best eight rebounds for the Pride.
For Babson, Dana Mauro came off the bench to lead the way with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Matt Zoia provided a team-best 15 points and six assists. Matt Florio was the only other member of the visitors to notch double digits in the scoring column as he pumped in 10 points. As a team, Babson drilled eight three pointers, including four by Zoia.
The visitors took a four-point lead with 1:56 remaining as Marcus Edwards completed his conventional three-point play from the foul line. However, before heading to the line, Edwards was assessed a technical foul for taunting after his made bucket, prompting a pair of free throws at the other end. Cavalieri knocked down one of two to make it a three-point ball game, 68-65, in favor of Babson.
Springfield came up empty on their next possession, but got a stop on the other end to keep it a one possesion game. Coburn then took a feed from Crean and knocked down a baseline jumper to cut the lead to one with just over a minute remaining. The next time down the court, Florio was fouled by Harkins just over midcourt, however, he then missed the front end of the 1-and-1 to set up Crean's heroics. Coming out of a timeout, Crean backed down his man and hit a jumper from the left block to give SC a 69-68 lead.
Babson turned the ball over its next time down the court and Cavalieri buried a pair of freebies to ice the game. Babson's Alex Rudolph had a three-point attempt as time expired, but it rimmed out.
The Pride led by as many as five in the second half after an Evan Christner lay up at the 11:19 mark, but Babson put forth a furious rally with an 8-0 run capped off by a Florio triple to take a 57-54 lead.
Springfield shot the ball well in the first half, connecting on 14-of-27 shots (51.9%). After a back-and-forth start to the first half, Springfield finally seized control after Babson went up one, 23-22, on a Zoia free-throw. Against Babson's press, Coburn got free for a pair of dunks, including an emphatic flush that kick started a 14-4 run which gave Springfield its largest lead of the stanza, a nine-point cushion.
The Pride will wrap up its three-game homestand on Thursday evening when it hosts local-rival Western New England College at 7:00 pm.