New London, Conn. – February 21, 2009 – Senior John Strawson finished with a game-high 18 points, including four of four shooting from 3-point range, and the Pride secured a home game in next week's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament with a 69-59 win over Coast Guard in the final game of the regular season for both teams.
Springfield, which won its last three NEWMAC games and needed lots of help in other conference outcomes throughout this past week in order to play at home, has thus earned the #4 seed in the NEWMAC Tournament, and will play #5-seeded Clark in a first-round game Wednesday (Feb. 25) in Blake Arena at a time still to be determined. That game will be part of a doubleheader, as the SC women will also host a NEWMAC Tournament first-round game that same evening. Gametimes for the doubleheader will be 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm.
Sophomore Matt Cavalieri finished with 13 points to go with his team-high-tying eight rebounds, junior Pat Crean had 12 points, while classmate Ryan Blackmon added 11 points.
Springfield (13-12, 5-7 NEWMAC) took advantage of Coast Guard's cold shooting in the first half as the Bears made just two of their first 14 shots and trailed 18-5 with 9:40 left in the first half.
The Pride took a 29-20 advantage to halftime with Coast Guard making just eight of 28 from the floor in the first half (28.6 percent).
Coast Guard (12-12, 4-8 NEWMAC) got as close as six at 63-57 with 44 seconds left, but the Pride were eight for eight from the foul line in the final minute to ice the game.
Both teams entered the game as part of a four-way tie for fourth place. Springfield finishes fourth with the win and will host a game on Wednesday while the Bears finish in last place with the loss. The seventh-seeded Bears will play at second-seeded MIT on Wednesday night in the quarterfinal round of the NEWMAC Tournament.
Senior Craig Johnson led Coast Guard with 15 points and 10 rebounds on Senior Day, the final home game of his career, while junior Eric Hudson added 11 points and freshman Theo Jensen finished with 10 points in the loss.
Coast Guard was 22 for 47 from the floor (38.6 percent) and just six of 23 from 3-point range (26.1 percent). Springfield shot 44.9 percent in the game (22-49) while connecting on 5 of 15 from behind the arc.