Oneonta, N.Y. - March 7, 2014 - Despite a spirited second-half rally, the Springfield College women's basketball team dropped a 63-49 decision to Amherst College in the NCAA Division III Championship First Round on Friday evening at Hartwick College.
Springfield's incredible season comes to a close with the loss as it ends the year with a 17-12 record. The Pride made a Cinderella run to get the NCAA Tournament, knocking off the top three-seeds in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) to win the league title a year removed for a 4-20 campaign.
Jaimie Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn.) paced the Pride in the loss with her 14th double-double of the year as she netted 13 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Emily Gins (Fort Meyers, Fla.) tallied nine boards and eight points, while Ava Adamopolous (Ludlow, Mass.) added eight points off the bench.
The Pride struggled offensively, shooting just 15-for-59 for the game, connecting on just 25.4% from the floor, but was able to hit 19-of-28 from the charity stripe.
Riley Fake (Brockport, N.Y.) knocked down a pair from the charity stripe to put Springfield on top 19-18 with 5:02 left in the first half. The Lord Jeffs seized control of the game for the reminder of the half, pouring on a 14-3 run as they hit seven free throws in the spurt to head into the half with a 32-21 lead.
Just over 10 minutes into the second half, Amherst had extended its lead to 21 after Jaimie Renner buried a triple to make it a 52-31 ballgame. Over the next eight-plus minutes, the Pride clawed their way back with a 17-3 spurt thanks to eight points from Bickelhaupt to get within 55-48. Following a pair of Bickelhaupt free throws with 1:22 on the clock, the Lord Jeffs converted six of 12 foul shots down the stretch to come away with the win.
Amherst was paced by Marley Giddins’ 20 points and 11 rebounds. Ali Doswell added 16 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots. Both teams were even in the paint, 26-26. Amherst forced 20 Pride turnovers that it turned into 22 points. Springfield got help from its bench as it outscored the Lord Jeffs’ bench, 22-13.
Amherst finished the game with a slight lead in rebounds, 48-47. The Lord Jeffs blocked nine shots to seven blocks for the Pride. Both teams had seven steals.