Springfield Slips Past Wheaton, 73-72

More news about: Wheaton (Mass.)

Lyons receive double digit efforts from five different student-athletes

NORTON, Mass. – Springfield College junior guard Nick Sienkiewicz (Cranston, R.I./Marianapolis Prep) knocked down the game-winning three-pointer from the left wing with two seconds remaining to lift the Pride to a 73-72 victory over Wheaton College on Saturday afternoon in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest inside Emerson Gym.

After the Lyons went 1-for-2 from the free throw line to make it a 72-70 game with six seconds to play, Springfield took its ensuing inbound over half-court and called its final timeout to set up an out-of-bounds play. Sienkiewicz inbounded the ball slightly to the right of his own bench to senior forward Robbie Burke (Cheshire, Mass./Colby-Sawyer) and then slipped to the left wing burying the contested shot for the win. Wheaton chucked a baseball pass near the top of the three-point arc on its next possession, but no foul was called ending the game.

The Lyons used a balanced effort against Springfield highlighted by a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds from freshman guard Agyei Gregory (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands/St. Andrews). Senior guard Will Bayliss (Manchester, N.H./Tilton School) collected ten points, dished out a game-high six assists and grabbed four rebounds. Freshman forward Quinton Dale (Winthrop, Mass./Taft School) tallied ten points, eight rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Sophomore guard Billy Battaglia (Simsbury, Conn./Taft School) and freshman center Timothy Berry (Sterling, Mass./St. Peter Marian) both had ten points.

Burke finished with a double-double posting 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor and 13 rebounds (four offensive). Sienkiewicz had 16 points, four rebounds and one assist in 30 minutes of action. Senior forward Tim Swenson (Milbury, Mass./Milbury) notched 12 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while classmate Sean Martin (Rindge, N.H./Conant) registered 11 points, four rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Wheaton held a 39-32 advantage the break in large part to its 20-9 run to begin contest. Dale contributed six points to the spurt, while Gregory and Bayliss both added five points. Freshman forward Zach Parsons (Belchertown, Mass./Belchertown) and junior guard Eddie Capstick (Worcester, Mass./Marianapolis Prep) also factored into the scoring with a bucket apiece.

Springfield eventually carved away at its deficit to bring the game within one possession at the 4:39 mark on a tip-in from Swenson after missed three-pointer. The Lyons answered with an 8-0 run to push their lead back to 11 points (37-26) with 2:32 remaining in the half before Springfield countered with a 6-2 run of its own to end the stanza.

The second half featured two lead changes and one tie as both teams kept play within two possessions until 56-seconds remaining on the clock. Dale swished a pair of free throws for a 68-61 differential but Martin responded for the Pride with two free throws and a layup off a steal directly under Springfield's basket to cut Wheaton's advantage to 68-65 with 47-seconds to go.

Both teams exchanged free throws to keep it a three-point game with 38-seconds left in the stanza, then Baylis bumped the Lyons' lead back up to 71-67 going 1-for-2 from the line with 18 ticks left on the scoreboard. Sienkiewicz drilled a three-pointer on a feed from Martin with 10-seconds remaining to make it a 71-70 contest before his game-winning trey sent the visitors home with a win after Wheaton only converted 1-of-2 free throws at the six-second mark.

The Lyons held a 24-16 margin in points off turnovers and a 25-10 differential in bench points. The Pride outscored the hosts 38-22 in the paint and compiled 16 second chance points.

Wheaton (7-12, 2-8 NEWMAC) hosts Clark University on Wednesday, February 12 at 7 p.m. Springfield (16-5, 7-3 NEWMAC) welcomes Babson College to its campus on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

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