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Men's Basketball Topples Connecticut College To Win Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic

Springfield, Mass. - December 31, 2016 - The Springfield College men's basketball team earned an 82-71 win over Connecticut College in the championship game of the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic on Saturday evening in Blake Arena.

Springfield has now strung together three-straight victories and improves to 6-5 on the season, while Connecticut College lost for just the second time this season to fall to 8-2.

First-year Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) was named to Most Outstanding Player of the Classic as he tallied his seventh double double of the season with 23 points and 10 boards to go along with four assists and two steals.  Teammate Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) was also named to the All-Tournament Team after he tallied 18 points and five assists.  Kevin Durkin (Worcester, Mass.) netted 13 points, Brandon Eckles (East Greenwich, R.I.) chipped in 10 points and seven caroms off the bench.  Stanley Davis (Boston, Mass.) was credited with a game-high five assists for the Pride, which shot 51.9% (28-for-54) for the game.  

Connecticut College was paced by three double-digit scorers, with Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, Conn.) registered a team-best 14 points.  David Labossiere (Stoneham, Mass.) recorded 13 points, three steals, and three assists of the bench and Zuri Pavlin (New York, N.Y.) posted a double double of 10 points and 10 boards en route to All-Tournament Team honors.  Teammate Daniel Janel (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) also earned All-Tournament Team honors with nine points and seven rebounds in the setback. 

The Camels used an 8-0 run over a two-plus minute span to break open the game early and earn a 14-4 advantage after a Labossiere inside finish.  Springfield battled back with six-straight points when a Ross steal and finish made it a four-point game, 14-10, at the 12:16 mark.  Connecticut College's lead would grow to nine at 23-14 on a Colin Pascoe (Somers, Conn.) bucket at 7:09, only to have Springfield close out the half scoring 26 of the games' next 32 points to head into the half with a 40-29 cushion.  The run was started by eight-straight points from Ross, including a highlight-reel play in which he blocked a shot and went coast to coast for a contested finish at the rim. All told, Ross tallied 17 of the Pride's 26 points in the burst, including four trifectas.    The Pride shot 53% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes and turned seven Camel turnovers into 16 points.

Springfield used eight points from Eckles as part of a 10-0 run midway through the second half to push the hosts lead to 61-40 with 10:49 on the clock.  However, the Camels answered right back with an 11-0 surge of their own over a 2:35 span and Springfield burned a timeout with its lead trimed to 61-51.  The visitors would get as close as nine on a Phil Leotsakos (Arlington, Mass.) three with 6:25 to go, but the Pride responded with a 9-2 push to earn a 15-point lead with just over two minutes to play.  McNulty had 14 points in the second half and was key down the stretch as the Pride held on for the 10-point win. 

The Pride will open New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday when it travels to face rival WPI at 5:00 pm.

UMass Dartmouth 73, Elizabethtown 69 

The UMass Dartmouth men's basketball held off a valiant second-half push by Elizabethtown for a 73-69 win in the consolation game of the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic in Springfield College's Blake Arena on Saturday afternoon.

UMass Dartmouth's Jon Robinson (Chatham, Mass.) was named to the All-Tournament Team and led all scorers with 18 points in the win for Corsairs. Also for the blue and yellow, Chris Mendes (Somerset, Mass.) handed out eight assists, Arinze Obiora (Hyde Park, Mass.) netted 13 points off the bench, while Mert Sert ()Hoosac Falls, N.Y.) chipped in nine boards and eight points.  UMass Dartmouth scored 14 second-chance points in the game and held a 39-27 edge on the glass.

Elizabethtown was paced by three double-digit scorers, including Josh Eden who tallied 12 points, 10 boards, and four assists.  Both Bryce Greene (Westhampton, N.J.) and Ethan Dubois (Manahawkin, N.J.) netted 10 points for the Blue Jays, which shot 65% (17-for-26) in the second half.

UMass Dartmouth led from the opening whistle as Robinson drilled a trifecta on the opening possession to give the Corsairs a lead it would never relinquish.  After Dubois drilled a triple from the left wing to climb with 20-17 with 8:10 on the clock, UMass Dartmouth closed out the frame on an 18-8 run to head into the break with a 38-25 cushion.  Robinson led all scorers with 12 points as he connected on four of five from beyond the arc.  

The Corsairs lead ballooned to 14 points just over five minutes into the second half when Tucker Bouchard (Kingston, Mass.) leaked out in transition to make it a 49-35.  However, the Blue Jays chipped away and make it a 59-54 ball game when Peter Harding (Orwigsburg, Pa.) drilled a three-pointer at the 8:46 mark.  A 6-2 push by UMass Dartmouth, which featured four points by Obiora, gave the Corsairs some breathing room at 65-56, only to have Elizabethtown pour on an 11-4 burst over a 4:24 span.  Using three freebies from Harding with 1:40 remaining, the Blue Jays trailed just 69-67 but could never get snag the lead before ultimately losing 73-69.

All-Tournament Team
Jack Sweger - Elizabethtown
Jon Robinson - UMass Dartmouth
Jake Ross - Springfield College
Andy McNulty - Springfield College
Zuri Pavlin - Connecticut College
Daniel Janel - Connecticut College