Springfield edges Western New England College in overtime in battle of city rivals

Springfield edges Western New England College in overtime in battle of city rivals
Box Score

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Junior forward Matthew Cavalieri (West Warwick, RI) hit the winning basket with 1.8 seconds left in overtime and finished with a career high 31 points as the Springfield men's basketball posted a thrilling 79-77 non-league victory over Western New England College in a battle of city rivals Thursday evening (Feb. 11) at Blake Arena.

SC has won five games in a row by a total of 13 points to improve its record to 12-10.

The Golden Bears, who had a three-game win streak ended, now have a 12-10 mark as well.

Sophomore guard Andre Shaw (Jamaica, NY) led Western New England College with 24 points while Rick Johnson (Springfield, MA) added 14 points, four rebounds, and seven assists.

Also scoring in double figures were senior forward Brendan Murphy (West Springfield, MA) who netted 12 points and junior guard Chris Devine (Wlbraham, MA) who contributed 10 points and six rebounds.

Cavalieri made 13-of-21 shots from the field, including a three-pointer with five seconds left to send the game into an extra session.

Sophomore center Ryan Coburn (West Warwick, RI) compiled a rare triple-double with 17 points, 11 blocked shots, and 10 rebounds. He and Cavalieri were teammates at West Warwick High School.

Western New England College trailed by 13 late in the first half before cutting the deficit to seven at halftime (40-33). The Golden Bears kept clawing their way back before taking a 53-52 lead on a three-pointer by Shaw at the 10:38 mark.

WNEC took its biggest lead at 61-56 following a basket by Murphy with 7:06 left.

SC rallied going ahead 68-66 after a basket by junior guard Darvis Rankins (Boston, MA) with 2:08 left.

Murphy tied the contest with a jumper and senior forward Mike Booker (Springfield, MA) made a layup and Johnson a free throw for a 71-68 advantage with 17.1 seconds remaining.

That set the stage for a NBA three-pointer by Cavalieri.

The Golden Bears scored the first four points in overtime before SC again came back behind Cavalieri who scored six points, including a jumper that put the hosts ahead 77-75 at the 1:34 mark.

Murphy then made a pair of free throws to knot the contest for the 16th and final time just 17 seconds later.

Each team committed a turnover before Cavalieri hit his game-winner.

Sophomore forward Evan Christner (Voorheesville, NY) was the third pride player in double figures with 12 points.