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Men’s Basketball Cruises Past Castleton State, 97-55, in Holiday Inn/Naismith Classic; Bates Edges Becker in the Championship Game, 70-64

Springfield, Mass. – January 3, 2009 – The Springfield College men’s basketball team set a pair of Holiday Inn/Naismith Classic records for field goals made and field goals attempted as it downed Castleton State, 97-55, on Saturday afternoon in the consolation game of the Holiday Inn/Naismith Classic at Springfield College’s James Naismith Court at Blake Arena. Later that evening, Bates came from behind to defeat Becker, 70-64, in the championship game (see details below).

The Pride connected on 42 of 86 shots in the consolation game as it improved to 7-4 on the season. A depleted Castleton State team, which played only seven players, mainly due to injuries, is still seeking its first win at 0-9. It was Springfield’s second victory of the season over the Spartans. In game #1 back on November 15, the Pride defeated Castleton State, 71-61, in a game played at Elms College in Chicopee, Mass.

The 97 points scored were the most by a Springfield team since the Pride defeated Keene State, 98-84, on Jan. 5, 2006 behind all-time leading scorer’s Derek Yvon’s 30-point effort.

Springfield was led by four players in double figures. Junior guard Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.) scored 19 points and added 6 rebounds. Senior center John Strawson (Torrington, Conn.) scored 14 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Sophomore forward Matthew Cavalieri (West Warwick, R.I.) had 11 points and 6 rebounds. Junior forward Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) chipped in with 10 points and 8 rebounds. Freshman guard Antoine Hicks (Houston, Tex.) led a host of subs with 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in 18 minutes of action. No SC player saw more than 25 minutes of play.

Strawson was Springfield’s representative on the All-Tournament team.

For Castleton State, freshman guard Cameron Bodine (Victor, N.Y.) led with 17 points. He also had 5 rebounds and was 6-of-12 from the floor, as well as 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Senior guard Kevin Cayea (Red Hook, N.Y.) was next with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Sophomore guard Michael Carrier (Burlington, Vt.) scored 10 points and added 4 rebounds. Cayea was Castleton State’s representative on the All-Tournament team.

The teams jockeyed at the very start. Castleton State had leads of 4-0 and 6-2. But when Blackmon made a 3-pointer with 14:14 left in the half, that gave Springfield a lead at 13-10 that it would never relinquish. When Carrier made one from beyond the arc, Springfield still led by only three points (20-17) with 11:47 left. SC then scored the next eight points to take a 28-17 advantage, and the score just mushroomed from there. At the half, the Pride led by 23 at 51-28. Blackmon scored 15 of his 19 in that half.

In the second half, a Pat Crean dunk with 15:21 left gave SC a 31-point lead at 67-36. A lay-up by freshman guard/forward Patrick Fanning (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) gave SC its first 40-point advantage at 88-48 with 4:58 left. Springfield would lead by as many as 45 at 97-52 when senior forward Gary Broadhurst (Saquoit, N.Y.) made a 3-pointer.

Springfield out-rebounded Castleton State, 52-33. Castleton was forced into 24 turnovers, while SC committed just 10. Up next, the Pride will host Williams College Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 7 pm.


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — January 3, 2009 — Chris Wilson, the Tourney MVP, scored 19 points to lead his Bates College men’s basketball team to a 70-64 victory over Becker College in the championship game of the Holiday Inn/Naismith Classic at Springfield College’s James Naismith Court this evening in Blake Arena.

With the victory, Bates raises its record to 6-4, while Becker falls to 6-3.

Wilson, a junior guard from Brewer, Me., also added 3 assists and 2 rebounds. He was 4-of-8 from the field, and 10-of-10 from the free throw line. Also named to the All-Tournament team from Bates was junior forward/center Sean Wirth (Barrington, R.I.). He had 9 points and 7 rebounds this evening against the Hawks.

For Becker, two players were also named to the All-Tournament team. They were freshman forward Markus Wright (New Haven, Conn.) with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks, and senior guard Travis Suber (Springfield, Mass.) with 12 points, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds. In tonight’s game, sophomore guard Drew Schroll (Portland, Conn.) also scored 12 points.

Just last season, current Bates College head coach Jon Furbush served as an assistant coach under Springfield’s head man, Charlie Brock, making this a special tournament triumph for the Bates’ rookie coach.

Chris Wilson — Bates (MVP)
Sean Wirth — Bates
Travis Suber — Becker
Markus Wright — Becker
John Strawson — Springfield
Kevin Cayea — Castleton State