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Men's Basketball Breezes Past Salve Regina, 77-49, To Advance To Hampton Inn/Naismith Classic Championship

Matt Cavalieri Springfield/Salve Regina Box Score

Springfield, Mass. -- January 2, 2010 -- Matt Cavalieri netted a team-best 14 points and Pat Crean added 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Springfield College men's basketball team breezed to a 77-49 win over Salve Regina in the Hampton Inn/Naismith Classic on Saturday evening.

The win, which snaps Springfield's four-game skid, makes the Pride 3-8 on the year. Springfield advances to play in the championship game on Sunday evening at 7:30, when it will face SUNY-Purchase. Purchase was victorious in the first men's game this evening, taking down Wesleyan, 70-68.

Darvis Rankins also notched double-digit points in the win as he totaled 10 to go along with six rebounds. Twelve different players scored for the Pride in the win as 14 players saw game action. In his first collegiate start, Billy Harkins added eight points to go along with three assists. To go along with his double-double, Crean also posted five assists and four steals.

The Seahawks were outmanned in the contest as only eight players suited up for action. Ryan Birrell totaled a game-high 16 points and recorded seven rebounds and five assists in the loss, while Dan Royce chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds. Salve shot just 27.6 percent from the floor (16-of-58) and struggled from beyond the arc, connecting on just 7-of-28 attempts from downtown.

Springfield raced out to an 11-4 lead after Harkins drilled a three-pointer at 4:13 into the contest. Over the next 7 and a half minutes, Springfield completely took control of the game as it used a 16-6 run, capped off by a Cavalieri jumper, to take a 27-10 lead. A fast-break lay-in by Harkins with 27 ticks remaining in the opening 20 minutes gave Springfield its largest lead of the first half, 38-16.

Plenty of new faces played in the second half as head coach Charlie Brock let his bench see a good amount of game action. The Seahawks would only get to within 16 after a Tyler Sienkiewicz trifecta made it 45-29 in favor of the hosts with 14 minutes left in regulation. The final score of 77-49 proved to be Springfield's largest margin of the game, as a Matt Pascuzzo free-thrown gave SC a 28-point cushion.

Game #1 -- SUNY-Purchase 70, Wesleyan 68

Purchase/Wesleyan Box Score

Springfield, Mass. -- January 2, 2010 -- Marvin Billups scored 22 points and Charles Thompson added 19 to lead the SUNY-Purchase men's basketball team to a 70-68 victory over Wesleyan College in the first round of the men's Hampton Inn/Naismith Classic this evening at Springfield College's Blake Arena.

With the win, SUNY-Purchase is now 5-3, while Wesleyan falls to 4-5 on the season.

SUNY-Purchase will now play the winner of tonight's second game between host Springfield College and Salve Regina University Sunday at 7:30 pm in the men's championship game. Wesleyan will play in tomorrow's consolation game at 3 pm.

Also scoring in double figures for the Panthers was junior guard Michael McNair (Valley Cottage, N.Y.) with 16 points. Billups, a junior forward from Chester, N.Y., was 9-of-16 from the field, and 2-of-2 from 3-point range. Thompson, a junior center from Upper Marlboro, Md., was 8-of-16 from the field and had 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal. Junior forward/center Corey Orgias (Highland Mills, N.Y.) finished with a team-high 10 rebounds, while adding 9 points.

For Wesleyan, two players scored in double figures. They were sophomore guard/forward Jason Mendell (Bedford, N.Y.) with 17 points, and senior guard Jeremy Kaminar (Cherry Hill, N.J.) with 15. Freshman forward Mike Callahan (Madison, Conn.) contributed a game-high 11 rebounds, while adding nine points.

Wesleyan led in this game about 85 percent of the time. The Cardinals led by as many as seven on two occasions in the first half (at 13-6, and 31-24 with 2:25 to go). They still led by three (35-32) at the intermission.

Wesleyan still led by single digits for much of the second half and by as many as eight points at 46-38 with 15:09 left on a lay-up by Kaminer.

But when McNair hit a 3-pointer with 4:01 remaining, Purchase took the lead for good at 63-62. Billups then made a lay-up and added a free throw with 2:53 left, and made a single free throw with 1:57 left to give Purchase a 5-point margin at 67-62. But Kaminer made three straight free throws with 1:45 left to make it 67-65.

A short jumper by Orgias with 1:12 left gave the Panthers a four-point lead at 69-65. But Mendell hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to cut that lead to one at 69-68 with 1:02 left.

Freshman guard Shasha Brown (Bronx, N.Y.) had a chance to give Wesleyan the lead with 10 seconds left, but his short jumper missed. He then fouled Thompson who had two free throws down the other end. Thompson missed the first, but made the second with eight seconds to go.

Wesleyan still had two more chances to tie or win it. Brown missed a tough lay-up that could have tied it with three seconds left, but the ball went out of bounds off Purchase with just over one second left. A 3-point attempt by freshman guard Derek Beresford (Hampton, Ga.) as the buzzer sounded hit the rim but caromed off, giving Purchase the victory.

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Head Coach Charlie Brock

Charlie Brock Charlie Brock in 2013-14 will enter his 16th season as the head coach at Springfield College and his 34th season as a head coach overall. Brock’s achievements as a coach are certainly impressive. He has taken three schools to the NCAA Division III Tournament and has an overall, 32-year record of 440-397. Read more.

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