CHICOPEE, Mass. - November 16, 2008 – Senior forward Ronald Thomas (Chicago, Ill.) sophomore guard Dan Gonzalez (East Windsor, CT) and junior forward Javon Mathis (West Hartford, CT) all scored 12 points apiece to lead a balanced offensive attack to lift No. 25 Elms College to a thrilling 73-63 men’s basketball win over Springfield College in Sunday’s championship game of the Blazer Tip-Off Tournament at the Maguire Center.
Elms College senior point guard Aswad Thomas (Hartford, Conn.) earned Tournament Most Valuable Player honors as he finished with six points, a game-high six assists and a team-high eight rebounds. In the two games of the tournament, Thomas registered a combined 18 steals and 16 assists.
The Blazers (2-0) led just 44-38 with 13:52 remaining, then went on a 14-4 run over the next 3:54, as Gonzalez delivered a pair of layups to help key the spurt. From there, Springfield (1-1) was never able to draw closer than seven for the remainder of the game.
Junior guard Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.) dropped in a game-high 19 points in 36 minutes for the Pride, which committed 32 turnovers.
Senior forward Malakie Berry (Enfield, Conn.), senior guard Ellis Jones (Roxbury, Mass.) and junior guard Juan Galdon (Holyoke, Mass.) all finished with nine points apiece for Elms College, which held a huge 47-3 advantage in bench scoring.
Junior forward Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) scored 18 points and hauled in nine rebounds, while senior center John Strawson (Torrington, Conn.) posted his second-straight double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds as the other two Springfield players to reach double figures.
Sunday’s game marked the first-ever meeting between Blazers and Pride.
Marcus Hass (Castleton), Derrick Neal (Regis), John Strawson (Springfield), Ryan Blackmon (Springfield), Ronald Thomas (Elms College)
TOURNAMENT MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Aswad Thomas (Elms College)