Springfield, Mass. - December 13, 2013 - The Springfield College men's basketball team won its second-straight game on Friday, 91-49 over visiting Worcester State in Blake Arena. Robbie Burke (Cheshire, Mass.) had a double-double to lead the Pride with 17 points and 12 rebounds. The senior had a dominant day in the paint, pulling down 10 of his 12 rebounds in the first half.
The Pride defense was impressive in the second half, coming out of the locker room to hold Worcester State scoreless for the first 7:57 of the half. The Lancers finally ended the drought on a three-pointer by Brandon Rios (Easthampton, Mass.) to make it a 60-27 Springfield lead with 12:03 left in the game.
Springfield improves to 7-2 with the win, while Worcester State falls to 1-9 with the loss.
The Pride got on the board first on a basket by Sean Martin (Rindge, N.H.), but Worcester State jumped ahead to a 4-2 lead after a basket by Rios. The Lancers took a 6-4 lead 3:20 into the game on a basket in the paint by Paul Brooks (Arlington, Mass.), but that would be the last time they would hold a lead, as Springfield went on a 12-2 run spanning the next five minutes. The Pride held a 16-8 lead with 11:49 left in the half.
With 2:25 on the clock before halftime, Burke went hard to the basket, good for two points, giving the Pride a 37-20 lead. With 4.9 seconds left on the clock, Martin made it a 44-24 game, driving the length of the court for the basket and the foul.
Martin scored nine of his 13 points in the first half. He also finished the day with five assists and five steals. Springfield took a demanding 44-24 lead into the locker room.
The offense was cruising for Springfield as the Pride opened the second half on 16-0 run over the first 7:57, pulling away to a 60-24 lead. The Pride had five players score in double figures, three coming off the bench, including Josh Downes (East Sandwich, Mass.) who finished the day with 15 points on an impressive 6-of-6 shooting. All 15 of Downes' points came in the second half. Nick McKenna (Danvers, Mass.) and Simon Kilday (Arlington, Va.) each tallied 12 points off the bench, Kilday shooting 4-of-6 from the field. Collectively, the Pride's bench contributed 48 points.
With 6:06 left in the game, Downes scored six-straight points for the Pride, knocking down two-straight baskets in the paint and two free throws to give Springfield a 78-41 lead. Downes was unstoppable in the second half, scoring all 15 of his points in the final 5:56 of the game.
Alex Garstka (Westfield, Mass.) had nine points for the Pride while Larry Piretra (Oakland, N.J.) added seven points and three steals. Springfield shot 36-of-61 (59%) from the field and 8-of-17 (47.1%) for three. The Pride was also 11-of-13 (84.6%) from the foul line.
Rios was the game's leading scorer, putting up 18 points to lead Worcester State. Dane Jobst (Athol, Mass.) added eight points and nine boards. The Lancers shot 18-of-63 (28.6%) from the field and 6-of-23 (26.1%) from behind the arc.
Both teams will have some time off as the Pride will host the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic on January 3rd and 4th. Worcester State will play at Regis on January 3 at 7:00 p.m.