Jordan Rote carried the Springfield College men’s basketball team with 22 points in their home opener against Trinity College en route to a 64-49 victory Thursday night at Blake Arena. The pride began their season on the road with an impressive 6-1 start and now progress to 7-1, lifting them to second place in the NEWMAC standings as of Dec. 6.
Springfield started the first half fairly slow, sharing the lead with Trinity several times. The Bantams took an early five-point jump 4:59 into the beginning stages of the first half. The Pride quickly altered the pace of the game, getting out in transitions and playing lockdown defense, and held a nine-point lead after Josh Altman connected on a jumper with 8:59 remaining in the half.
Springfield would only expand that lead, leading by as much as 12 after two free throws by Nick Sienkiewicz with 3:11 to play. The Pride would hold on to a 29-18 lead heading into the half.
The Bantams would cut the lead to three points with 13:20 remaining after Mick DiStasio connected on his free throws. That would be the closest Trinity would come and Springfield would, at one point, expand their lead to 21 points after a Rote three-pointer. The Pride were able to extend their lead due to their hounding defense and cruised to an easy victory.
“We were able to keep the lead over them with our defense,” said senior Alex Berthiaume. “Everyone was committed on the defensive end and our offense stemmed from that.”
The Pride are averaging an impressive 77.6 points in their seven wins this season. The new motion-style offense assistant coach Jim Mack and head coach Charlie Brock have freshly installed has worked thus far for Springfield. In particular, Berthiaume has benefitted from the change and can see an evident difference.
“The new offense has been working well so far through the year,” Berthiaume added. “It allows us to spread the court more and provides open lanes to attack.”
Shay Ajayi led the Bantams with 13 points and eight rebounds, followed by Mick DiStasio’s 11 points. Trinity College now drops to (3-5) on the season.
The men’s basketball team will face a tough test on Saturday at 1 p.m. when they return to Blake Arena to face Williams College (7-1).