Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College men's basketball team will play the Springfield College Pride in the 5 p.m. game of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase on Friday, December 9 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. The Showcase will also feature AIC v. Philadelphia at 3 p.m., UMass v. Siena at 7 p.m., and Fairfield v. Old Dominion at 9 p.m. Tickets, good for all four games, are available through the Trinity basketball office at (860) 297-4165. The Bantams, coached by James Cosgrove (2nd Season), are 5-2 after an 82-48 win against Newbury on Saturday.
Trinity has won two invitational tournaments in the season's early going and five in a row dating back to last year, downing Sage and Western New England to repeat as Golden Bears Hoop Classic Champions to start the year, and defeating Framingham State and Wheelock to capture its second consecutive Harbor Invitational title. Trinity suffered a 74-50 loss at Eastern Connecticut and lost, 74-68, against Western Connecticut in its two defeats. Against Newbury, Trinity sophomore swingman Eric Dean (Gilford, N.H.) had 11 points and nine rebounds, while freshman center George Papadeas (Athens, Greece) added 11 points off the bench. Trinity burst out to an 11-0 lead 2:15 into the game and led by as many as 19 points in the first half.
The Bantams rank second in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) defensively with 58.3 points allowed per game, while Dean is 19th in the league in scoring at 11.3 ppg and fifth on the glass with 8.1 rebounds per contest despite giving up several inches underneath at 6-foot-2. Senior captain center Chris Applegate (High Point, N.C.) is tied for seventh in the league with 0.8 blocks per game, and freshman guard Varun Ram (Clarkville, Md.) is 10th in steals with 1.43 per game. Junior forward Adam Skaggs (Framingham, Mass.) has been a solid all-around forward with 4.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, and rookie guard Carter Trent (Little Rock, Ark.) has been a steady contributor in the backcourt with 8.6 ppg and a team-high 26 assists. Dean was the MVP of the Golden Bears Classic and Ram, who has started all seven games and is Trinity's second-leading scorer at 10.9 ppg, was the Harbor Classic MVP.
Springfield, coached by Charlie Brock (14th Season), is 5-1 after a 69-59 loss to Elms on Saturday in the Pioneer Classic for its second straight setback. Alex Berthiame leads the Pride in scoring with 20.4 ppg, while Ryan Coburn averages a team-high 7.5 boards per contest. Berthiaume also boasts a team-high 5.0 assists per game, but also has 29 turnovers. Springfield downed Trinity at home, 62-41, last December, as current Bantam junior guard Cameron Sutton (Queens, N.Y.) had 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists. The teams are 5-5 against each other over the last five years, but the Pride has taken four of the last five meetings.