NEW LONDON, Conn. (January 23, 2008) – John Strawson (Torrington, Conn.) scored a game-high 21 points, including the go-ahead three point play with 12.4 seconds remaining in the game to lift the Springfield College men's basketball team past Coast Guard, 57-55.
Springfield improves to 6-10 this season and picks up its first New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory of the season, moving to 1-3 in conference play.
The first half of the contest was back and forth with the score tied on five separate occasions. However, after a Jamaal Gibbs (Norwalk, Conn.) bucket knotted the game at 21 with 5:09 left in the first stanza, the Pride rattled off a 6-0 run, to grab a six-point advantage. Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.) recorded a pair of two-point jumpers in the run to give the Pride its biggest lead of the half. A pair of free-throws by Jeff Prebeck cut the Pride's lead to four heading into the locker room, 27-23.
After another Gibbs jumper rebuilt the Pride's lead to four at the 16:47 mark, 31-27, neither team would score for the next four minutes of play until Brett Huntley buried a three with 12:47 remaining to make the score 31-30, in favor of SC.
Springfield continued to hold the lead into the final minutes of the game, up four with 6:22 left after a Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) jumper. However, the Bears would not go away and heated up from behind the arc, connecting on five trifectas in the final six minutes. A Stefan Lewis triple with 45 seconds left gave Coast Guard its last lead of the game, 55-54.
Trailing by one, the Pride worked the ball down low to Strawson who hit a tough jumper in the lane and was fouled. The junior center hit the ensuing foul shot to put the Pride up two (55-57) with just 12 seconds left to play. The Pride then made a big defensive stop down the stretch and rebounded a missed Coast Guard bucket to seal the victory.
Gibbs added 13 points and five boards, while Crean chipped in with eight points and 11 caroms. Blackmon registered eight points and six rebounds for the Pride.
Springfield returns to action on Saturday afternoon as it plays host to Babson. Tip off is slated for 3:00 pm.