SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 10, 2008) – Despite a game-high 22 points from senior Gregg Daly (Farmington, Conn.), the Springfield College men's basketball team fell, 80-76, to Keene State on Thursday evening in Blake Arena.
With the loss, the Pride drops to 5-7 on the season while the Owls improve to 7-5.
Springfield raced out to an early eight point lead, 12-4, at the 13:08 mark after Daly buried a three pointer in the corner off a feed from John Strawson (Torrington, Conn.). The Pride continued to build its lead and would grab its largest margin of the game, 16, with 2:39 remaining in the quarter when Daly buried his third trifecta of the stanza. With just four ticks left on the clock, Keene State's Nate Anderson hit a three to cut the Pride lead to 13 heading into the locker room. Daly netted 18 first half points to lead the way for the Pride as it shot just under 42% for the half.
A Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) fast break lay up 2:10 into the second half once again built the Pride's lead to 16. However, the Owls slowly chipped away and got within eight after an Eric Malkowski put-back made the score 47-39 with 14:22 left in regulation. The Pride then used a conventional three-point play by freshman Russ Krichman (Wall, N.J.) to regain a 14-point advantage with 10:00 to go. After a pair of Dan White (Troy, N.Y.) free throws put the Pride up 10 with 6:53 left, the Owls forged a furious rally. Over the next 3:20, Keene State rattled off a 16-5 run to take its first lead of the game, 71-70, capped off by a triple from Anthony Licitra. The Owls used three-balls from Licitra, Shiwon Davis, Tyler Kathan, and Nick Drouin to get right back in the game.
On the ensuing possession, Crean calmly sank a pair from the charity stripe to give the Pride a one-point advantage. Kathan answered right back on the visitors' next time down the floor as he also sank a pair, making the score 73-72, in favor of Keene State. Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.) and Travon Little traded layups inside before a Kathan free throw gave the Owls a two-point lead. Once again, Crean answered for the Pride with an 18-foot jumper to knot the game at 76 with 1:15 left on the clock.
Davis was sent to the line and made just one, putting the visitors up by one with 56 seconds remaining. Crean's jumper from the top of the left side with 32 seconds was off, and Keene State went on to make three of four from the free-throw line down the stretch to hold on to the victory.
Daly finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds to notch his third-straight double double, while Blackmon finished with 17 points. White tallied a career-best 11 points and dished out three assists and had three steals in one of his finest games at Springfield, while Crean chipped in with 10 points and seven boards. Springfield took advantage of 15 KSC turnovers and turned them into 16 points.
Kathan finished with 17 points as did Little. Anderson added 14 points while Drouin chipped in with 11 off the bench. Keene State played 14 players in the game, compared to just eight for the Pride.
Springfield returns to action on Saturday when it wraps up a seven-game homestand with its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener against WPI. Tip-off is slated for 2:00 pm.