MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - November 17, 2007 - Despite having a trio of players in double figures, the Springfield College men's basketball team fell to Rhode Island College, 71-62, in the championship game of the Wesleyan Invitational on Saturday afternoon.
The loss evens the Pride's record at 1-1 this season, while RIC moves to 2-0.
Springfield trailed by as many as 12 in the second half after a pair of free throws from Kareem Johnson put RIC up 47-35 with 12:09 remaining in the game. The Pride rattled off a 12-3 run capped off by a Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) trifecta with 5:39 to go to cut the lead to three at 50-47.
After the teams traded baskets, Springfield got within three again, this time after a three from Jamaal Gibbs (Norwalk, Conn.) with 4:37 left on the clock. However, back to back threes from Carlos Brown and Cameron Stewart put RIC back on top by nine and ultimatley put the game out of reach.
Crean finished with 15 points while Gibbs added 14 points, 12 in in the second half, and five boards. Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn) tallied 13 points and six boards while Dan Atkinson (Foxboro, Mass.) came off the bench to contribute nine points and eight boards, including six offensive caroms. Springfield was hampered by 24 turnovers in the game.
Gibbs was named to the All-Tournament Team for the Pride as he averaged 16.5 points and 5.5 boards over the weekend.
Springfield returns to action on Friday, November 30 as it hosts in-town rival Western New England at 8:00 pm in the Pioneer Valley Classic.