Bridgewater, Mass. - November 16, 2012 - Senior Alex Berthiaume began his final season at Springfield College in dominant fashion, pouring in a game-high 30 points, to lead the men's basketball team to an 86-84 overtime victory over Becker College on Friday evening in the Bridgewater Tip-Off Classic.
Springfield will take on host Bridgewater State in the championship game beginning at 3:00 pm on Saturday.
A d3hoops.com preseason All-American selection, Berthiaume reached the 30-point plateau for the fourth time in his career at Springfield. He shot 11-for-18 from the field to go along with eight assists and six rebounds. Jordan Rote added 17 points and nine rebounds, while Robbie Burke chipped in 16 points and and nine boards of his own.
As a team, Springfield shot 51% for the game (35-for-69) and held a 38-28 edge in rebounding. Becker also shot the ball well as the Hawks converted 53% (34-for-64) of their field goal attempts, including 11-for-22 (50%) from behind the arc. In addition, Springfield's bench outscored Becker's 16-2, and the Pride held a 16-2 edge in second-chance points.
All five starters finished in double figure scoring for Becker with forward Yahmad Rountree leading the way with 19 points. Sophomore Lee Brockett finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and sophomore guard Donovin Ford-Hayes added 16 points, eight boards, four assists and a pair of steals. Junior guard Mike Russell notched 15 points, five assists and four rebounds and junior forward Tyler Roberson rounded out the Hawks’ double-digit scorers with 15 points.
The game was close throughout with neither team leading by more than seven points. There were 11 ties in the contest and 14 lead changes including two ties and four lead changes in the overtime period alone.
After a Berthiaume layup with 2:24 remaining in regulation gave the Pride a 74-72 lead, Roberson sent the game into the extra session with a driving layup with 41 seconds left. Springfield had two opportunities to win it the final ten seconds but a three-pointer and a contested layup both were off the mark.
The eleventh and final tie of the game came with 3:12 left in overtime as Burke sank the first of two free throws. He then made the second to give Springfield the 80-79 lead. The score remained that way until Russell drained a three-pointer with 1:26 on the clock to put the Hawks on top, 82-80. Berthiaume, however, answered 24 seconds later with his only trifecta of the evening to put the Pride back up for good, 83-82.
Becker had two attempts on the ensuing possession but were unable to convert. Berthiaume sank two free throws with 20 seconds left to increase then advantage to three and the Pride would go on to the 86-84 victory.