Springfield, Mass. - January 20, 2010 - Behind a career-best 23 points from Kelly Slattery, the Springfield College women's basketball team held off Smith College en route to a key 73-62 victory in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday evening at SC's Blake Arena. It's was the Pride's fourth straight victory. SC has suddenly moved up to find itself in a two-way tie with WPI for third place in the league standings.
The Pride evened its record to 8-8 on the season, but more importantly, moved to 6-3 in the conference. Smith dropped to 8-6, 5-4 in league play.
Springfield had its best shooting performance of the season as it finished shooting 52.8% from the field. Slattery was simply unstoppable as she connected on all 10 of her shots from the floor and added seven rebounds to her game-high 23 points.
Both teams shot the ball extremely well in the first half, as the Pride shot 48% from the floor and the Pioneers connected on just over 55% of its shots. Smith opened up a six-point advantage after a Lisa Marie Vuono jumper gave the visitors a 22-16 lead with 8:20 remaining in the opening frame. However, over the next 6:20, the Pride rattled off a 16-7 run to take its first lead since the 15:49 mark as Meghan Biondolillo buried a 3-pointer to make 32-29. Biondolillo later connected on her third trifecta of the stanza as time expired to give the Pride a 37-33 advantage heading into the locker room.
The Pride had its way for the opening part of the second half as its lead ballooned to as much as 18 points, 63-45, after Slattery converted a bucket inside with 9:02 remaining. The Pioneers proved to be scrappy down the stretch as an Elizabeth Dutton three with 53 seconds on the clock made it a seven-point ball game. But the Pride then used a pair of foul shots from both Biondolillo and Kelly Murphy to ice the game.
Biondolillo finished with 16 points and five rebounds as she connected on four threes in the game. Murphy added 12 points and five assists, while Abby Connors chipped in with six points and six helpers. Emily Walker came off the bench to add eight points and seven rebounds for the hosts.
Smith was paced by Vuono, who tallied 12 points and seven rebounds in the contest. She was the Pioneers' only scorer in double digits. Elizabeth Belbruno added nine points, while Daron Dean and Anna Veltri each registered eight points in the loss. The visitors made the most of 19 Springfield turnovers as they turned them into 28 points.
Springfield returns to action on Saturday afternoon when it travels to take on first-place Babson at 1:00 pm, while the Pioneers will host the Wellesley Blue on January 23rd as well in conference action. SC's last loss came to Babson on January 7 at home.