Blake arena was filled with students, families, and friends excited to see the Springfield College Men’s Basketball team play their home-opener against Elms College.
The Pride opened up the 2014-2015 season on the road with three straight victories before returning home to face 1-2 Elms.
The Pride’s renewed energy in the second-half along with a change of plan on offense was too much to handle for an Elms team en route to a 62-56 victory.
Leading the Pride to victory was Senior guard Sean Martin. Martin, who only netted three-points in the first-half, scored 16 points overall along with three steals and three assists. Martin’s aggressiveness down the stretch was key as he converted on three, three-point plays.
Senior forward Josh Altman had nine points from behind the arc and 13 overall, despite shooting 5 for 19 from the field. Altman also added 6 rebounds and 3 assists to push the Pride to victory.
Graduate center Tim Swenson posted a double-double on the night with 10 points and 12 rebounds to go along with three crucial blocks. Freshman center Brandon Eckles scored 10 points in only 17 minutes along with 3 rebounds.
The game opened slowly as Elms led the Pride 16-12 about 10 minutes into the contest. Eckles hit a layup with 9:52 left in the first to narrow the lead for Elms to 16-14 with his first points of the game.
Swenson threw down a powerful dunk with two minutes left in the first half to narrow the Elms lead to 26-24.
The Pride were down 30-24 heading into the break.
The second half proved to be a different story as the Pride began finding better open-looks and changing the pace of the game.
“We kind of let their defense dictate what we did on offense in the first-half, so we tried to come out in the second half, change that and mix up most of our normal cuts and keep the defense guessing,” said Martin.
The Pride took their first lead of the second half 41-40 after a layup by Martin. The Pride then went on a 13-3 run and took a commanding 53-43 lead with 6:01 left in the game.
Elms didn’t let the Pride pull away as they narrowed the lead to 55-52 with 1:26 left in the contest. A successful three-point play by Eckles with 14 seconds left on the clock gave the Pride a 60-54 lead and never looked back as they won 62-56.
“I think in the second half we were able to pull enough energy to execute on offense and that helped us defensively not chasing around balls as much,” said Head Coach Charlie Brock.
The Pride are now 4-0 with the win, while the Blazers of Elms College fall to 1-3. The Pride will next travel to Keene State on Tuesday to take on the Owls before Thanksgiving break, while the Blazers will next travel to Wesleyan to take on the Cardinals on Tuesday.