Westfield, Mass. - November 30, 2012 - The Springfield College men's basketball lost for the first time this season as it fell to host Westfield State, 68-54, in the Pioneer Valley Classic on Friday evening. Alex Berthiaume netted a team-best 22 points in the loss.
For the Owls, Lee Vazquez scored 22 points and Matt Devine had 12 points and game highs of 18 rebounds, six assists and four blocks to held the hosts improve to 5-1.
Springfield, which dropped to 4-1 on the season, came into the game averaging 84 points per game. However, the Pride only shot 17 percent in the first half as Westfield led 28-18 at the intermission. For the game, the Springfield connected on just 25 percent of its shots, including 5 for 23 from 3-point range.
Springfield led just once, 13-11, following Josh Altman’s dunk with 7:49 left in the first half. Westfield quickly regained the lead on a Vazquez 3-pointer that ignited an 11-0 run for a 22-13 Owl advantage.
Springfield closed to within three, 30-27, early in the second half an a Jordan Rote 3-point basket, then the Owls went on a 16-4 run for a 46-31 lead with 11:20 remaining. The Pride sliced the lead to eight on several occasions, but Westfield pulled away with a workmanlike effort on both ends of the court.
The Owls shot 47 percent from the field and outrebounded the Pride, 50-46. Of Springfield's 46 rebounds, 24 came on the offensive glass. Grant Cooper scored 11 points and Ryan White had 10 rebounds and four assists. Springfield's Robbie Burke posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Springfield will play again on Saturday evening when it takes on Amherst, who was ranked sixth in this week's D3Hoops.com national pool. Tip-off is slated for 6:00 pm.