Springfield, Mass. - December 11, 2010 - Despite holding a one-point lead at halftime, the Springfield College men's basketball team dropped an 83-60 decision to second-ranked Williams College in a non-conference matchup on Saturday afternoon in Blake Arena. The Ephs outscored the Pride, 49-25, in the second half to take control of the game.
The Ephs move to 9-0 on the season, while Springfield's five-game winning streak comes to a close as it now stands at 5-4.
For Williams, senior center Troy Whittington (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led all scorers with 27 points, including 15 in the first half. Junior guard James Wang (Sydney, Australia) followed with 16 points, and sophomore guard Nate Robertson (Ann Arbor, Mich.) chipped in with 12. Freshman forward Taylor Epley (Goshen, Ky.) had eight points, while sophomore guard James Klemm (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and freshman guard Hayden Rooke-Ley (Eugene, Ore.) each had seven.
Whittington was a powerful force in this contest, keeping his team very much in the game in the first half, and coming down with a game-high 10 rebounds overall. He was also 8-for-11 from the floor. Wang had seven rebounds and six assists, while Robertson produced five steals for the Ephs.
For the Pride, senior forward and co-captain Matt Cavalieri (West Warwick, R.I.) tallied a team-high 20 points to go along with five rebounds and two steals. The only other double-figure scorer for SC was junior forward Ryan Coburn (West Warwick, R.I.) with 13 points. He also had five rebounds and four blocks.
Coburn was honored before the game for recently setting a Springfield College career record for blocked shots. When he blocked his 155th shot against Westfield State a week ago, he had broken the record of 154 set by John Sylvia in 1988. With his four blocked shots today, Coburn, only a junior, now has 165 for his career.
Springfield was very much in this game in the first half, in fact leading for the vast majority of that opening stanza. SC played a smart game, allowing Cavalieri (10 points) and Coburn (8 points) to play to their strengths. Senior guard and co-captain Billy Harkins (Bellmore, N.Y.) also scored all six of his points in that half.
In addition, SC was shooting .500 from the floor. Meanwhile, Williams' strength, its 3-point shooting ability, was falling short (just 3-of-13 at .231).
When junior guard Pat Sturdahl (Exeter, R.I.) made two consecutive lay-ups early in the second half, Springfield took a three-point lead at 42-39 with 16:15 remaining.
But this is where a perfect storm devastated the Pride. Over the next 5:04, Williams went on a 15-0 run. At the same time, SC completely moved away from its carefully-crafted game plan. When Epley hit a 3-pointer with 11:11 to go, the Ephs found themselves ahead, 54-42 with all the momentum on their side.
A jumper by senior guard Darvis Rankins (Boston, Mass.) and two straight buckets by Cavalieri cut the margin to six at 54-48 with 8:19 left.
But from there, Williams displayed why it is ranked #2 in the country, outscoring Springfield 31-12 the rest of the way.
The Pride will play its final game of the first semester on Tuesday evening when it challenges Connecticut College at 7:30 in its third-straight home game.