Springfield, Mass. – January 4, 2019 – The Springfield College men's basketball team dropped a 74-71 decision to nationally-ranked Middlebury in the Hampton Inn/West Springfield Naismith Classic Championship in Blake Arena on Saturday.
Middlebury, which was ranked No. 4 in the most recent D3hoops.com National Poll, moved to 12-0, while Springfield, which was also receiving votes in the national poll, falls to 9-2. Springfield closed out non-conference play on the day, as both its losses this season have come to nationally-ranked teams.
Heath Post (Cheshire, Conn.) totaled 19 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks, while classmate Trey Witter (Unionville, Conn.) netted 15 points off the bench as each earned All-Tournament team honors. Collin Lindsay (East Longmeadow, Mass.) was tremendous on the day, pouring in a career-best 21 points and Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) delivered 10 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. For the game, Springfield shot 25-for-67, including 9-of-29 from beyond the arc, and held a 43-41 edge on the glass.
For Middlebury, Alex Sobel was named MVP after registereing 12 points and 10 boards, and was joined by Matt Folger on the All-Tournament team as he added 11 points. Max Bosco posted a team-best 14 points in the win and Jack Farrell and Ryan Cahill each scored 10. The Panthers outscored Springfield in the paint, 38-22, and shot 28-for-64 (44%) in the win.
Springfield opened up a 10-6 lead at the 15:43 mark following five-straight points from Post. Ross would score five-consecutive points of his own as part of a 13-6 push before Harper Niven (Nashua, N.H.) connected on a free throw to make it a 24-12 advantage in favor of the hosts. A deep triple from Witter at 7:22 allowed the Pride's lead to balloon to 29-14, only to have Middlebury respond with 12-straight points, thanks to five-straight points from Cahill to make it a 29-25 contest. However, another trifecta from Lindsay and three-point play by Ross allowed the lead to grow back to 10 points, 35-25, with 4:26 to play. The Panthers would close out the frame on a 12-3 surge, getting six points from Sobel, to trim Springfield's halftime lead to 38-37.
Lindsay would finish a three-point play just over two minutes into the second half to give Springfield a 44-37 lead, but Middlebury would answer right back with an 11-2 push, as Bosco cashed in on three from the charity stripe to give the Panthers a 48-46 lead with 15:11 on the clock. Springfield would regain a 55-54 lead when Deonte Sandifer (Pittsfield, Mass.) spun free in the lane for a finish at the rim at 11:54 and Lindsay would bury a corner three for a 58-56 lead with 9:39 on the clock. The Panthers would respond with seven-straights points, as a fast-break bucket from Farrell would force Springfield into a timeout trailing 63-58 with 6:40 to play. All told, Middlebury would use a 12-3 run to gain a 68-61 lead on a Bosco bucket with 5:14 on the clock. The visitors lead would grow to 10 with under a minute to play, but Post scored three from the stripe and later drilled a contested three to trim to it a 73-71 game with 14 seconds left. After the Panthers missed their second front end of a 1-and-1 in the final 20 seconds, Springfield had a possession to win or send the game to overtime, but Ross was unable to convert a tough finish in the lane, and Middlebury added a free throw and knocked down a last-second heave to escape with the win.
Springfield will now prepare for New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play, which begins on Wednesday when the Pride travel to take on nationally-ranked Babson for a 5 pm tilt.
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Bridgewater State 87, Colby-Sawyer 71
The Bridgewater State men's basketball team bested Colby-Sawyer, 87-71, in the consolation game of the Hampton Inn/West Springfield Naismith Classic at Springfield College on Saturday.
The victory gives the Bears a 3-9 record on the season while Colby-Sawyer levels out at 5-5.
Ryan Carney led the Bears with 28 points and seven assists on the day. Dimitri St. Louis put together a line of 22 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and two steals while Rayshon Ward added 19 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. St. Louis was named to the All-Tournament team for Bridgewater. The Bears assisted on 23 of their 32 made field goals and finished the game shooting 32-of-58 (55%).
Colby-Sawyer had three players in double figures with Dana Bean, who was an All-Tournament team selection, scoring a team-high 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Patrick Coffey added 14 points while Omar Boone pitched in 12 points. Colby-Sawyer edged the Bears on the glass, 32-31, but committed 15 turnovers in the setback.
Bridgewater used a fast start to seize control of the game, racing out to a 16-2 advantage at the 15:37 mark following a jumper by St. Louis. Colby-Sawyer would battle back to within 20-13 on an inside score from Bean, only to have St. Louis convert in transition to force the Chargers into a timeout with 9:01 left in the half as the Bears lead grew to 27-15. A tip-in by Bean with 4:20 on the clock capped off an 8-0 burst by Colby-Sawyer to pull within 32-26 as Bridgewater State burned a timeout. Out of the break, the Bears answered with an 11-2 surge of their own, as Kearney cashed in on a triple with 1:00 remaining to expand to a 43-28 cushion. The Bears, who shot 55% in the first half, owned a 43-30 advantage in the break, led by 16 points from St. Louis.
A Coffey three-pointer brought Colby-Sawyer within 49-42 just over three minutes into the second half, and a baseline jumper from Omar Boone at 12:23 made it a 55-50 contest. Colby-Sawyer would get as close as 59-56 on a pull up by Coffey, but a 18-9 run fueled by nine points from Carney allowed the Bears to regain control at 77-65 as the Chargers whistled for another timeout. The lead would balloon back to 82-65 when Ward stepped back for a trifecta with 2:36 to play as the Bears would hold on for the 87-71 victory.