SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – January 26, 2008 – Gregg Daly scored 21 points and Pat Crean added 15 to lead the Springfield College men’s basketball team to a 61-53 victory over Babson 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 7-10 overall, 2-3 in the NEWMAC. Babson, meanwhile, falls to 5-11 overall, 2-3 in the NEWMAC.
Daly, a senior forward from Farmington, Conn., tallied 21 points and added 8 rebounds. He was 6-for-8 from the floor, 1-for-1 from 3-point range, and 8-for-9 from the free throw line. Crean, a sophomore forward from Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., scored 15 points. He also had 4 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block. He was 5-for-9 from the floor, 1-for-1 from 3-point range, and 4-for-6 from the line. Junior center John Strawson (Torrington, Conn.) had 9 points and 5 rebounds. Senior guard Jamaal Gibbs (Norwalk, Conn.) had 7 points, and sophomore guard Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.) had 6 points and a game-high-tying 8 rebounds.
For the Beavers of Babson, there was balanced scoring. Senior forward Greg Bush (East Islip, N.Y.) finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds. Senior forward Chris Bradley (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) had 10 points and 8 rebounds. Junior guard Zach Etten (Hollis, N.H.) had 9 points and 6 rebounds. Senior guard Brian MacDonald (Beverly, Mass.) had 8 points and 4 rebounds.
This was a game where Springfield led most of the way. There were a total of seven ties and just two lead changes, although those lead changes came midway through the second half.
Springfield got off to a 7-2 start just 4:37 into the contest. Daly scored four of those points. Three times the Pride led by as many as eight points in the first half, the last at 20-12 with 6:30 left on a 3-pointer by Gibbs. Babson would cut it to two, 25-23, with 1:02 left on a 3-pointer by senior guard Kyle McDonald (Wethersfield, Conn.). But Daly hit a 3-pointer of his own with four seconds left to give SC a 28-23 lead at the intermission.
Both teams shot an identical 10-of-27 from the floor (.370), and both teams collected 18 rebounds in that half.
In the second half, it was essentially a 1-to-4 point game in the first seven minutes. But Babson finally took its first lead (37-36) with 12:34 left on a free throw by junior forward Pat Belniak (Sutton, Mass.). About a minute later, with 11:46 left, sophomore guard Peter Skogg (Orange, Conn.) gave Babson its second, largest, and last lead with a lay-up (39-37).
Blackmon and Strawson then followed with lay-ups in the next 43 seconds, putting the Pride back into the lead. Bush then tied it (41-all) with a jumper with 10:44 left.
Two free throws by MacDonald tied it again, for the last time at 48-all, with 6:03 left.
Then Springfield put on its best spurt of the game, outscoring the Beavers, 8-0, over the next 4:40, allowing the Pride to gain a 56-48 advantage. It was a Gibbs’ lay-up that put SC up for good with 5:08 left. Crean then added two free throws with 3:38 left, followed by a lay-up by Crean with 1:59 to go. The spurt was culminated by two free throws by junior guard Dan White (Troy, N.Y.) with 1:28 left.
Two free throws by Daly with 38 seconds left gave SC its largest lead of the game (60-51). A free throw by White with 25 seconds left completed the scoring.
Springfield shot .442 from the field, while Babson shot .385. Babson out-rebounded SC, 33-31. A big difference came at the free throw line where Springfield was 20-of-29, while Babson went 9-of-11.
Up next, Springfield is at Wheaton on Wednesday, January 30 at 7 pm. Babson hosts Coast Guard the same evening at the same time.