The Pride’s matchup with Becker was good, bad, ugly, and great all rolled into a nice compact 40 minute package.
Springfield started the game on an explosive 17-0 run. A run that included a Jake Ross transition dunk and superb off-ball movement to create easy buckets down low. In the second part of that same half, after scoring on almost all of its shots to start the game, the Pride sputtered on offense for an eight minute long stretch. During that stretch, Becker dug itself out of a potential blowout and constructed a 21-2 run.
“I thought we ran our offense fluidly in the first seven or eight minutes, but then we stopped running the offense fluidly and got off track,” said Pride head coach Charlie Brock on the team’s inconsistent play in the first half. “They [the team] doesn’t do it on purpose, but they don’t always recognize what works and what doesn’t, but today was a great example of them seeing what works and capitalizing on it.”
Unhappy with its erratic play in the first half, the Pride turned things around by putting together a 12-0 run to start the second half. As a team, the Pride played sensational on defense in the second half with the help of seven total steals from Ross and Trey Witter, tight on ball defense from Deonte Sandifer and Charlie Clay, and eight, yes, eight blocks from Heath Post.
“He is enjoyable to coach,” said Brock about Post. “He is coachable and teachable. He is capable of being constructively criticized. He is more and more becoming a complete player. Not quite there yet, but he is getting there. Certainly moving in the right direction.”
On top of Clay’s defensive performance, he also finished the game with eight points and two assists. Clay has been getting the most minutes out of all the new players for Springfield and has started in all of the Pride’s games.
“Charlie has the toughest job on the floor. He has to listen to what I have to say, which isn’t always a pleasure,” said Brock. “I think he has done a great job of learning what we are trying to do and keeping people on the same page every play up and down the floor. Tonight he defended, for the most part at least, their [Becker’s] best player [Kareem] Davis. He had a great balanced game offensively and defensively tonight.”
Springfield now looks to improve to 4-0 by taking down Westfield State on Saturday in Westfield.
“I haven’t watched them on film but they just won a quality tournament at Union so they must have a good thing going and have good players that are playing well together, because they couldn’t go into Union and win that tournament otherwise. We should have our work cut out for us.”