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Women's Basketball Falls to Smith, 57-54, Despite Second Half Surge

Jaimie Bickelhaupt Box Score

Springfield, Mass. - February 12, 2014 - Despite a second half surge, the Springfield College women's basketball team fell to visiting Smith College, 57-54 on Wednesday in a New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) clash in Blake Arena.

The Pride trailed by as much as 12 points in the second half, but made a late push, erasing the deficit as the game came down to the final seconds.

With 44 seconds left to play, Springfield's Ava Adamopoulos (Ludlow, Mass.) knocked down two huge free throws to make it a 56-54 game, coming within two points of the Pioneers. On the other end, Dina Pitsas (Milford, Mass.) grabbed a defensive rebound and Springfield used a timeout with 16 seconds left to play. Springfield missed on a three-point attempt and was forced to foul with four seconds left. Smith's Paulina Solis (Santa Ana, Calif.) made one of two from the line to make it a 57-54 game. Springfield took a deep three at the buzzer, but the shot was just short and Smith held on for the win.

Springfield falls to 13-10 on the season and 9-9 in the NEWMAC while Smith improves to 13-10 overall and 13-5 in conference play.

The Pride was led by Jaimie Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn.) with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Adamopoulos finished with 12 points and seven boards off the bench.

Smith was led by Solis who scored a game-high 23 points. Sydney Parkmond (Waterbury, Conn.) added 11 points and seven rebounds while Rosa Drummond (Rye, N.H.) tallied 10 points and seven boards.

Windwer gave the Pride a 5-0 lead to start the game with a three-pointer from the left side, 4:17 in. The Pride scored nine unanswered points to begin the game.

Smith went 0-for-11 from the field to start the game before finally got on the board on a basket by Solis in the paint with 10:51 left in the first making it a 9-2 game. Springfield took advantage of Pioneer mistakes early on, scoring seven of its first nine points off Smith turnovers.

Springfield held its lead for most of the first half, until Smith's Mandy Castro (San Diego, Calif.) knocked down a contested three-pointer to take a 19-18 lead with 4:01 left in the first. The Pioneers didn't give up the lead, going into halftime with a 27-20 lead.

Solis got Smith going early on, tallying nine of the first 12 points scored by the Pioneers. She has 11 at halftime. Pitsas went 3-for-3 in the first half for Springfield, scoring seven points off the bench in just five minutes. She finished with nine points and three boards.

Springfield opened the second half with two quick baskets by Bickelhaupt and Heather Lewis (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) to make it a 27-24 game just 51 seconds in.

Smith answered back with an 8-0 run, taking a 38-26 lead with 14:42 left in the game. Bickelhaupt ended the draught for the Pride, laying it in to make it a 10-point game with 12:39 to play.

Adamopoulos gave a nice feed from the top of the key into Emily Gins (Fort Myers, Fla.) who had an easy lay up to make it a 38-30 game with 11:05 to play. After the Springfield defense forced a shot clock violation on the other end, Adamopoulos came up with an easy basket in the paint to make it a six-point game (38-32) with 9:46 on the clock.

A pair of free throws by Pitsas and Springfield was right back in it, making it a 38-34 game with 9:07 to play.

Springfield tied it up 44-44 with 4:34 left in the game as Danielle Racette (North Adams, Mass.) drove to the basket then dished it off to Adamopoulos who finished in the paint.

Springfield shot 22-of-61 (36.1%) from the field, 3-of-11 (27.3%) from three and 7-of-9 (77.8%) from the foul line. Smith shot 18-of-54 (33.3%) from the field, 7-of-17 (41.2%) from three and 14-of-17 (82.4%) from the foul line.

Up next, Springfield will travel to Mount Holyoke on Wednesday February 19 for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff.

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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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