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No. 10 Amherst Tops Men’s Basketball 84-57 in Pioneer Valley Classic

Westfield, Mass. – December 5, 2008 – Despite leading midway through the first half, the Springfield College men’s basketball team could not find an answer for the Amherst College Lord Jeffs on Friday evening as the Pride dropped an 84-57 decision in the opening game of the Pioneer Valley Classic.

Amherst, which is currently ranked 10th in the country, improves to 5-0 while the Pride’s three-game winning streak comes to a close as it moves to 4-2.

Springfield held a 19-18 lead midway thru the first half after a jumper by Pat Crean, however, Amherst outscored SC 28-10 to take a commanding 46-29 halftime lead.

The difference in the game proved to be the outside shooting of Amherst. For the game, the Lord Jeffs connected on 13 of 25 attempts from 3-point range, including eight long-range bombs in the first half. Six Lord Jeffs scored from beyond the arc.

Steve Wheeler led the Lord Jeffs with 16 points. Also scoring in double figures for the winners were: Taylor Barisse (15), Marcus Bradley (11) and Brian Baskauskas (11).

Crean had 16 points and six rebounds for Springfield, which shot 3 for 12 from 3-point range. Ryan Blackmon scored 14 points and Matt Cavalieri added 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Ryan Coburn also contributed with eight points and seven boards.

Springfield will take on cross-town rival Western New England on Saturday evening at 6:00 pm.