Springfield, Mass. -- February 1, 2012 -- Alex Berthiaume led his Springfield College men's basketball team to a 72-63 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference victory over the Coast Guard Academy by scoring 28 points this evening at Blake Arena. It was the same number of points the junior guard scored in a two-point win at Coast Guard on January 7.
With the win, Springfield raises its record to 14-6 overall, 6-2 in the NEWMAC. The Bears fall to 7-11 overall, 1-8 in the conference.
Besides Berthiaume's 28, two others scored in double figures for Springfield College. They were senior guard Jordan Rote (Sheffield, Mass.) with 17 points, and senior center Ryan Coburn (West Warwick, R.I.) with 11. Coburn also had three rebounds and six blocked shots. Berthiaume, a native of Springfield, Mass., added a game-high five assists. Rote added nine rebounds.
Coast Guard also had three players score in double figures. They were sophomore guard Devonte Weems (Chesapeake Beach, Md.) with 18 points, sophomore guard Kevin Sowers (Monrovia, Md.) with 14 and freshman forward David Anderson (Goose Creek, S.C.) with 13. Sophomore forward John Benedict (Cumming, Ga.) added seven points and nine rebounds.
Berthiaume put on an offensive show to start the first half, pouring in 17 of his 28 points. He netted 13 of the Pride’s first 22 points, giving the hosts a 22-13 advantage following his third three-pointer of the opening 9:58 of action. The Pride’s nine-point lead was short-lived as it went cold from the field, allowing the Bears to answer with a 13-2 run over the next 6:04, giving the Bears a 26-24 lead on a lay-up from Sowers. The teams then traded buckets until Springfield scored six unanswered points in the final 1:52 to head into the half up 34-28.
After a jumper by sophomore forward Robbie Burke (Cheshire, Mass.) put the Pride up 36-29 just 29 seconds into the second half, the Bears used yet another big run to get back into the game. This time, Coast Guard registered an 11-2 spurt, capped off by a Jimmy Knudsen jumper, to snag a 40-38 advantage with 15:47 on the clock.
A three-point play from Berthiaume following a great display of teamwork in transition gave the hosts a 43-40 lead, only to have junior forward Greg Marshall (Gaithersburg, Md.) answer once again with a big three to even things at 43. Coburn converted in the lane the next time down the court and was fouled, but Rote snagged the offensive board on the missed free-throw and buried a trifecta to push the Pride’s lead back up to five, 48-43, with 14:21 remaining.
An Anderson jumper at the 11:35 mark made it a 50-48 ballgame and would prove to be as close as Coast Guard would get the rest of the way. Springfield's largest lead was the final-point margin.
Springfield will next host MIT, the first-place team in the NEWMAC, this Saturday, Feb. 4, at 2 pm.