Springfield, Mass. - February 12, 2014 - The Springfield College men's basketball team rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit but ultimately fell short as Babson College held on for a 67-61 win in a raucous Blake Arena on Wednesday night in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play.
Tonight's contest pitted a pair of regionally ranked teams as the Beavers entered ranked 4th in today's NCAA Regional rankings, while the Pride were 7th in the region. Babson improves to 17-5, 8-3 in league play, while Springfield drops to 16-6, 7-4.
For the second-consecutive game, Nick Sienkiewicz (Cranston, R.I.) proved to be the second-half catalyst as he scored all 16 of his points in the final 20 minutes of play, canning four trifectas. Robbie Burke (Cheshire, Mass.) netted 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting and Sean Martin (Rindge, N.H.) delivered 13 points and four assists. Tim Swenson (Millbury, Mass.) contributed nine points and nine boards.
For Babson, Joey Flannery (Acton, Mass.) led all scorers with 21 points, including 17 in the first half. Sam Bohmiller (Franklin, Mass.) was the only other Babson player in double figures, tallying 11 off the bench. David Mack provided nine points and nine rebounds, and John Wickey posted nine points and seven caroms of his own.
Babson led for the majority of the first half, and after Bohmiller buried a triple with 5:10 on the clock, the Beavers lead had grown to 30-20. Martin answered right back with a triple of his own, and following a Larry Pirerta (Oakland, N.J.) steal, Quinn McKenna (Litchfield, Conn.) found Simon Kilday (Arlington, Va.) in transition to cut the lead to five and force a Babson timeout.
The Beavers seized control back, surging ahead with an 11-3 burst that featured three pointers from Flannery, Wickey, and Bohmiller. Babson hit six three-pointers in the first half, with Bohmiller's at the buzzer providing the visitors with a 41-28 cushion.
Both teams were especially efficient on the offensive side of the ball in the first half as each connected on 50% of their shots from the field.
Babson's lead would balloon to 15 just 3:08 into the second half on a Mack jumper in the paint. However, Springfield would make things very interesting over the next 11:19, as the Pride outscored Babson 26-9 to earn a 56-54 lead following a beautiful driving bucket by Burke. Sienkiewicz knocked down three from beyond the arc leading up to Burke's bucket, which gave Springfield its first lead since the 16:15 mark of the first half.
Matt Palazini (Franklin, Mass.) connected on a jumper in the paint and added a free-throw to put Babson back on top, 57-56, with just over four to play. Sienkiewicz answered right back with another deep three, only to have Flannery respond with a leaner in the lane to knot the game at 59.
Eric Dean (Gilford, N.H.) and Burke traded baskets before Flannery knocked down a jumper with 1:06 to put the Beavers up for good. The visitors hit four free throws down the stretch en route to the six-point margin as they moved into sole possession of second place in the league.
Springfield will play again this Saturday when it hosts Emerson at 7:00 pm.