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Clark Shoots Down Women's Basketball, 69-58

Andrea Butler Box Score

Worcester, Mass. - January 25, 2012 - Four players scored in double figures but it wasn't enough as the Springfield College women's basketball team lost a 69-58 decision at Clark University on Wednesday night in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action.

The Cougars were powered by a career-high 22 points from sophomore Megan Grondin as Clark shot a sizzling 50 percent from the floor (27-for-54) in the victory. The Cougars pushed their overall record to 12-6, while the Pride dip to 10-8 and have now dropped back-to-back games after a brief three-game winning streak.

More importantly Clark remains locked in a three-way tie with Smith and Wellesley, all at 8-3 in league play. Springfield, on the other hand, sits tied with Wheaton at 6-5 and in fifth place.

In addition to Grondin’s performance, the Cougars got 21 points and six rebounds from classmate Emily Reilly and 12 points, eight assists and four rebounds from fellow sophomore Ashleigh Condon.

The game was relatively close for most of the first half until Clark closed the stanza on a 17-8 run highlighted by eight straight points from Kelsey Giedymin – including back-to-back three-pointers that sent the Cougars into halftime in front, 35-28.

Clark then opened the second half on a quick 7-0 run capped by a Reilly steal and coast-to-coast finish that made the score 42-28 with 19 minutes left to play.

Springfield responded with a lightning-quick 10-0 spurt as the interior combination of Kelly Slattery and Emily Walker traded inside hoops, with Walker’s finish of an Andrea Butler delivery brought the Pride to within four at 42-38.

The lead went back up to eight as Grondin and Reilly weaved their way for inside hoops, but Springfield rattled off seven straight as Colleen Dignum dropped in a triple and made a pair of free throws, inching the Pride to 46-45 with 11:29 to go.

Clark would never relinquish the lead however, and with the score 54-50, the Cougars embarked on a game-sealing 9-0 run as Reilly converted a conventional three-point play, giving Clark a 63-50 edge and the Pride would get no closer than 11 the rest of the way.

The Cougars held a 42-30 edge on points in the paint and a small advantage on the glass (37-35). Clark, already the best free throw shooting team in the NEWMAC, connected on 11-of-12 attempts from the charity stripe, led by Grondin’s 8-for-8 showing.

Clark’s combination of Giedymin (4-for-7), Grondin (7-for-14) and Reilly (9-for-15) shot a collective 20-for-36 from the field. Springfield, meanwhile, connected on just 36 percent of their attempts, including a 4-for-16 performance from behind the arc.

Slattery paced the Pride with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Megan Biondolillo added 12 points on 5-for-12 shooting. Butler, who finished with just three points, stuffed the stat sheet, totaling five rebounds, seven assists and seven steals in 31 minutes of action. Kelly Murphy added 10 points, while Dignum chipped in 11 points off the bench.

Both teams are back in action on Saturday when Springfield visits Wellesley and the Cougars travel to Coast Guard

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Head Coach Naomi Graves

Naomi Graves Entering her 23rd season as head coach in 2013-14, Naomi Graves has directed her squads to an impressive 323-261 record (.553 winning percentage). Since joining the Division III ranks in 1995, Graves has led the Pride to 12 post-season bids in the past 18 years, including five berths in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Read more.

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