Chicopee, Mass. - December 5, 2009 - Despite a career-best 32 points from senior Pat Crean, the Springfield College men's basketball team fell to the 13th-ranked Amherst Lord Jeffs, 80-61, on Saturday afternoon in the second day of the Pioneer Valley Classic.
For his efforts over the weekend, Crean was named to the All-Tournament Team.
During the early portion of the first half neither team led by more than four points, and at the 7:46 mark a layup by Amherst first-year Peter Kaasila tied the game for the fourth time at 19-19. From that basket forward, the Lord Jeffs finished the first half on a 16-3 scoring run to take a 35-22 lead into the break.
During the scoring burst, junior tri-captain Conor Meehan scored seven points including a three pointer with just five seconds to play in the half. Neither team was very impressive from the field in the half, with the two squads combining to shoot just 3-for-33 from behind the arc.
In the second half, Springfield never got the margin into single digits, while Amherst pushed the lead to 19 points on three occasions. The Pride countered with a heavy dose of Crean, who scored 23 of his game-high 32 points after halftime. Crean went 14-for-20 at the free throw line, while also finishing with eight rebounds. Matt Cavalieri had a double-double for Springfield with 14 points and 11 boards in support of Crean’s effort.
Amherst was led by a one-two punch of senior tri-captain Steven Wheeler and Meehan, who each finished with 21 points. Meehan just missed a double-double with nine rebounds and five assists, while Wheeler added seven boards.