SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - November 30, 2007 - Despite a team-high 15 points from sophomore forward Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.), the Springfield College men’s basketball team fell in the Pioneer Valley Hoop Classic, 59-54, on Friday evening.
The game marked the first Springfield basketball game played on the newly-renamed James Naismith Court. The court was dedicated to the Springfield alum and inventor of basketball in a pregame ceremony.
The Pride, which hadn’t played a game since November 17, fell to 1-2 on the season while the Golden Bears improved to 3-2.
Springfield raced out to a 14-4 lead after Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.) hit a lay-up at the 13:06 mark. However, WNEC climbed right back into the game as it went on a 16-8 run spanning the next 8:27 to knot the game at 20 after a Chris DeVine three-pointer. WNEC would go on to lead by as many as six in the first half, but went into the locker room up just 29-27.
Shooting woes haunted the Pride in the second half as it managed just 12 points with 13:16 gone by in that stanza. By that point, the Golden Bears had extended its lead to 13 points (52-39) with 6:44 left in the contest.
Springfield got to within four after a Jamaal Gibbs (Norwalk, Conn.) three-pointer from the corner with four seconds left, but WNEC held on for the win.
Crean paced the way for the Pride with 15 points and five boards while Blackmon added nine points. Gregg Daly (Farmington, Conn.) snagged a game-high 13 rebounds for SC.
WNEC was led by Kyle Fredette, as he netted a game-high 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds and a Pioneer Valley Classic single-game record six blocks. Brad Thomka chipped in with 12 points for the Golden Bears.
The Pride return to action on Saturday afternoon when it takes on Westfield State. Tip-off is slated for 3:00 pm. In game #1 of the afternoon at 1:00 pm, WNEC will take on Amherst, a 96-49 victor over Westfield State earlier this evening.