SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – February 16, 2008 – Gregg Daly scored 18 points and grabbed 6 rebounds to lead the Springfield College men’s basketball team to a 74-60 victory over Wheaton College this afternoon in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference contest at James Naismith Court at Blake Arena.
With the win, Springfield raised its record to 10-12 overall, 5-5 in the NEWMAC. Wheaton, meanwhile, falls to 12-9 overall, 3-7 in the NEWMAC. For Springfield College Head Coach Charlie Brock, it was victory #150 in this his 10th year at SC. He owns 379 victories in this his 27th year coaching overall.
Daly, a senior forward from Farmington, Conn., was also credited with 5 blocks and 1 assist. He was 6-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the free throw line. Three others scored in double figures for the Pride. They included senior guard Jamaal Gibbs (Norwalk, Conn.) with 14 points, and sophomore forward Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) and sophomore guard Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.) with 12 points each. Freshman guard Chaz Burrell (Idaho Springs, Colo.) came off the bench to score 7 points, while adding 5 rebounds.
For Wheaton, freshman guard Ryan Sasso (Peabody, Mass.) led with 17 points. Sophomore forward Jaxon Leo (Leesburg, Va.), who scored his team’s first 7 points and pulled down a game-high 8 rebounds, and freshman guard Anthony Coppola (Watertown, Mass.) tallied 14 points each. Junior guard Kristopher Pedra (Avon, Conn.) scored 7 points for the Lyons.
The sentiment at halftime was what a well-played incident-free game it had been to that point. A Daly 3-pointer with two seconds left had allowed Springfield to reclaim the lead, 36-35, entering the intermission. Wheaton had led by as many as five points early on, 9-4, with 16:37 left on a Coppola bucket. The Pride had led by as many as seven points on two occasions – 24-17 with 10:25 left on a Crean 3-pointer, and 33-26 with 2:58 left on a lay-up by Daly. Wheaton then went on a 9-0 run before Daly’s 3-pointer finished up the half.
But there was an incident in the second half, coming with 14:35 remaining. With Springfield leading by one, 46-45, three key players, all starters, were ejected for flagrant fouls -- two from Springfield (Crean and Blackmon) and one from Wheaton (Coppola) following a scuffle. After the dust had settled, neither team scored again until Springfield junior guard Dan White (Troy, N.Y.) made two free throws with 12:09 remaining.
Daly made two free throws with 11:23 left, giving the Pride a five-point lead (50-45). A 3-pointer by Leo with 10:09 left cut SC’s lead back down to two points (50-48).
But in the last 10 minutes, Springfield would outscore Wheaton, 24-12. It began with a 9-0 flurry over a span of 2:08. Daly made a lay-up, followed a short time later by a Burrell free throw. Burrell then made the first of two straight 3-pointers with 8:23 to go to up the margin to eight (56-48). Burrell’s second trey with 7:19 left started to give the Pride some real separation (59-48).
Twice Wheaton would cut the margin to seven points, once with 5:25 left, and again with 4:01 left on a jumper by Leo.
The final 14-point spread was SC’s largest margin of the game.
Springfield wound up shooting .500 from the floor for the game (27-of-54), while Wheaton shot .361 (22-of-61). SC out-rebounded the Lyons, 37-32. Each team finished with 13 turnovers.
Up next, Springfield will travel to Babson Wednesday (Feb. 20) to play at 5:30 pm. Wheaton will host WPI in Norton, Mass. that same evening at 7:30 pm.