By Chris Gionta
The Springfield College men’s basketball team was defeated by Babson on Wednesday night at Blake Arena by the score of 96-71.
Games can turn in different directions rather quickly, and that was exemplified on Wednesday night on James Naismith Court. The game seemed to be competitive with about 12 minutes remaining in the first half, with Springfield trailing by just two. However, Babson found their groove offensively, defensively, and especially on the boards when they went on a 28-12 run to take the game into halftime. They were up by 18 points at the end of the first half, and they did not let the lead go below single digits for the rest of the game.
Springfield’s first couple of minutes went in their favor, as they jumped out to an 8-5 lead. However, after the Beavers sank a three-pointer to tie the score, no more leads ensued for the Pride. Babson went on a 9-0 run to make it 14-8 about four minutes into the game.
After the Pride reeled the game to within two points, Babson’s offensive rebounding ability was showcased at an extreme level, which was a large reason they were able to go on a 28-12 run to end the half. During the run, Babson outrebounded Springfield 20-8, with eight of the Beavers’ boards coming on the offensive side of the ball. This resulted in nine second chance points for Babson in that stretch.
“It comes down to rebounding — in that stretch, it was,” said Springfield head coach Charlie Brock. “And we just didn’t react to shots taken. I think we react to the shot missed and it’s too late by the time we try to rebound, so we’ve just got to keep working on our reaction time when a shot’s taken, and get a box out, and do a better job on the glass.”
There remained significant separation between each team through the end of the game. What stood out about Babson’s performance on Wednesday was their three-point shooting. They made 18 shots in 33 attempts from beyond the arc for a 54.5% success rate.
“Defensively, it was too easy for them,” said Brock. “We need to be more aggressive and a little more trusting so that we’re capable of getting up and in somebody rather than backing off, and we allowed them too many not-highly-contested threes.”
Despite the negative team performance against Babson, first-year forward Jacob Morales continued to shine. He went 7-for-11 from the field for 18 points to go along with six rebounds. This was his seventh consecutive game with double-digits in the scoring column.
“I think he’s just gotten more comfortable with the offense that we’re running and has found his ways to score in it,” said Brock regarding Morales. “He’s continually striving to make better shots during the course of the game.”
Morales is one of many Springfield players in their first season of college basketball. With three games left in the season for the Pride, the young team will look to create some successes to build off of heading into next season.
“Every game they play, every time they get in a situation, if they can remember it and they can learn from it, it’ll be a benefit in the future,” said Brock.
The Pride’s next matchup will be back in Blake Arena on Feb. 12 at 12 p.m. against Emerson.