Springfield, Mass. - December 1, 2009 - Despite a 14-point, 13-rebound, nine-block performance from sophomore center Ryan Coburn (West Warwick, R.I.), the Springfield College men's basketball team dropped an 89-84 decision in overtime to the visiting Keene State Owls in non-conference action on Tuesday evening at Blake Arena.
Keene State is now 3-3 on the season, while Springfield falls to 1-4.
Keene State was led by sophomore forward Derek D'Amours from nearby Agawam, Mass. with 22 points and 9 rebounds, and by freshman guard Geoffrey Woodbury (Hyde Park, Mass.) with 21 points and 8 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Springfield's leading scorer was junior forward Matt Cavalieri (West Warwick, R.I.) with a career-high 22 points, followed by senior forward Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Both Coburn and freshman guard Colby Verge (Derry, N.H.) finished with 14 points apiece. For Cavalieri, it was the third time he has scored 20 points or more in five games this season.
A key in this contest was Keene State's ability to make free throws (33-of-42 for .786), while Springfield was not able to take advantage from the charity stripe (22-of-38 for .579). The Owls hit 12-of-15 in the overtime alone.
It was a game of runs. Keene State took a 22-12 lead with exactly 10 minutes remaining in the first half on two free throws by Woodbury. But SC came back to take a 39-32 lead at the half, outscoring the Owls, 27-10, in those last 10 minutes before the intermission.
The Pride continued to play well to start the second half, and built a 13-point lead at 55-42 on a jumper by Crean with 11:03 left.
But Keene State came back very strong, creating a flurry of turnovers at this point. and with 6:30 remaining, the Owls re-took the lead, 58-57, on a lay-up by D'Amours. SC scored the next seven points, and was seemingly in control, leading 64-58 with 5:18 left on a 3-pointer by Cavalieri. But Keene State again came back to take a two-point lead, 70-68, on a jumper by D'Amours with 1:53 left.
No one scored again until Keene State's Eric Fazio, a freshman forward from Hopewell Junction, N.Y., hit a free throw with 11 seconds remaining, and that gave the Owls a 71-68 edge. But with five seconds left, Crean was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer from straightaway. Needing to make all three shots to tie it, Crean missed the first. He hit the second, and SC called timeout. Crean missed the third attempt intentionally. The ball was tapped up, with Crean getting his own rebound. Crean went directly to the hoop and missed a tough lay-up, but Coburn tipped it in just before the buzzer sounded to tie matters at 71-all. It was just the fourth tie of the night.
SC gained the tip to start the overtime. Freshman forward Trevor DiMicco (Coventry, R.I.) buried a 3-pointer to give SC the lead just 13 seconds into the extra session. But the Owls scored the next eight points. A lay-up by freshman guard Tyler Grillo (Saugus, Mass.) with 3:23 left gave Keene State the lead for good at 75-74. The Owls would lead by as many as eight on three occasions the rest of the way. A 3-pointer by Verge at the buzzer cut the final margin to five, 89-84.
Keene State outrebounded the Pride, 54-41. Both teams were able to create turnovers by pressing. Keene State turned it over 24 times, SC 21 times. Neither team shot particularly well from the floor for the game -- Keene State (.394), Springfield (.388). SC was hurt by the fact that Cavalieri fouled out with 11 seconds left in regulation. Both Coburn and Crean fouled out in the overtime period.
Springfield will next play Westfield State this Friday at 8:30 pm at Elms College in the first round of the Pioneer Valley Classic.