Babson Park, Mass. - January 24, 2009 - Behind a game-high 20 points from Ryan Blackmon, the Springfield College men's basketball team erased a 12 point second-half deficit as it defeated Babson, 62-60, on Saturday afternoon in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action.
Blackmon scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to lift the Pride to its first conference win of the season for Springfield, which improved to 8-9 overall and 1-4 in the NEWMAC, while the Beavers are still seeking their first at 8-9 overall and 0-5 in league play.
Blackmon shot 7-for-11 from the field, including a magnificent 6-for-9 clip from three-point range, for his 20 points. Junior Pat Crean added 10 points and six assists for the Pride, while first-year Antoine Hicks also netted 10 points. Seniors John Strawson and Danny White each chipped in with eight points for the Pride, who shot 52.3 percent from the floor while holding Babson to just 42.6 percent shooting.
Sophomore Shelton Ladson (New York, N.Y.) paced the Beavers with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while first-year Marcus Edwards (East Hampton, N.Y.) added 11 points and five rebounds. First-year Kris Noonan (Boothbay Harbor, Maine) tossed in 10 points to go with a team-best six boards, senior captain Zach Etten (Hollis, N.H.) added 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists, and senior Norm De Silva (Dartmouth, Mass.) posted a team-high five assists along with two steals off the bench.
Springfield got off to a strong start defensively, holding the Beavers to just one field goal in the first eight and a half minutes as the visitors built an 11-7 lead. However, Babson slowly took over later in the period, building a 28-21 lead at the break behind 10 first-half points from Ladson.
Babson continued to maintain a comfortable lead through the first eight minutes of the second half, including a 40-28 cushion with 12:40 remaining. The Pride then stormed back into the contest with an 18-4 run over the next six minutes, highlighted by seven points from Hicks. The two squads would remain close the rest of the way, with Springfield grabbing the lead for good after a jumper by Blackmon made it 56-55 with 2:47 remaining. Hicks followed with one of his two trifectas with 1:19 left to play, pushing the visitors lead to four at 59-55.
The Beavers refused to go quietly, as de Silva fired a beautiful feed underneath to Noonan, who converted a lay-up and drew a foul with 59.3 seconds on the clock. The ensuing free throw cut the Beavers’ deficit back to one at 59-58, but Blackmon answered with a crushing three-pointer – his sixth of the game – to push Springfield’s advantage back to four at 62-58 with 39 ticks left. Noonan converted another lay-up off a de Silva assist to make it 62-60 with 15.6 seconds remaining, but the Beavers would come up empty on their final possession as the Pride held on for the hard-fought 62-60 win.