Springfield, Mass. - February 24, 2010 - Matt Cavalieri recorded a double-double, leading five players in double figures, as the Springfield College men's basketball team advanced past Babson College, 71-65, on Wednesday evening in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament Quarterfinal.
With the win, Springfield improves to 14-12 on the season, while the Beavers' season comes to a close with a 10-16 mark.
Springfield has now advanced to take on WPI, who was a five-point winner over Coast Guard earlier this evening. The second-seeded Pride and third-seeded Engineers will battle at 3:00 pm at MIT on Saturday.
Cavalieri tallied 14 points, 11 of which came in the second half, and added a game-high 11 rebounds in the win. Ryan Coburn finished with a game-high 15 points and tacked on four rebounds and four blocks, while Evan Christner connected on all seven of his shots for 14 points off the bench. Darvis Rankins added 12 points of his own and Billy Harkins recorded 10 points and five assists.
Babson's Alex Rudolph and Marcus McDermott each tallied 12 points in the loss, while Dana Mauro came off the bench to pump in 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Matt Florio snagged a team-best seven rebounds and McDermott dished out five helpers.
The Beavers jumped out to an early 15-6 lead just over eight minutes into the contest as Springfield was stone cold from the field, connecting on just one of their first 13 shots. However, a Christner jumper in the lane kick-started Springfield scoring on its next eight buckets. Coburn, who went 9-of-10 from the charity stripe in the game, converted on a pair of freebies at the 6:45 mark to give the hosts a five-point advantage, 24-19. Babson battled back to tie the game at 24 after a pair of Rudolph free throws, only to have Springfield rattle off a 10-2 run, capped off by a Crean lay in, to grab a 34-26 lead. McDermott buried a three with 42 ticks on the clock to cut Babson's deficit to two, 35-33, as both teams headed to the locker room.
Babson would take its only lead of the second half at the 16:34 mark after a Florio lay up gave the visitors a 42-41 lead. However, following a timeout by Charlie Brock, Christner converted down low to give Springfield a lead it would not relinquish. Over the next eight-plus minutes, the Pride reeled off a 16-4 run, as Cavalieri tallied nine points to power Springfield to a 58-45 lead. The Beavers got as close as four with 1:25 remaining after a Matt Zoia triple, but Springfield connected on six free throws down the stretch to ice the game.