New London, Conn. - February 26, 2014 - For the second time in just four days, the Springfield College women's basketball team squared off with Coast Guard, but this time the Pride went home with a 57-54 win in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Quarterfinals on Wednesday in a packed gymnasium at Coast Guard.
The Pride fell in two earlier meetings this season by a total of just five points, but on Wednesday, No. 6 Springfield pulled off the upset of the third-seeded Bears. Springfield is now 4-0 all-time against Coast Guard in the NEWMAC tournament.
Coast Guard ends the season 19-7 (14-7 NEWMAC) while Springfield improves to 15-11 (11-10, NEWMAC) and advances to the NEWMAC Semifinals. The Pride will take on No. 2 Wheaton on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Smith College. The NEWMAC Championship game will take place on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Smith.
Springfield was led by Jaimie Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn.) who posted a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Riley Fake (Brockport, N.Y.) was tremendous both offensively and defensively finished with nine points. The junior did a stellar job of holding Coast Guard's top offensive threat, Zimmerman, scoreless in the second half until the 2:31 mark.
Ava Adamopoulos (Ludlow, Mass.) tallied eight points and seven boards off the bench for Springfield, while Emily Gins (Fort Myers, Fla.) and Moschetta finished with eight points apiece.
Springfield used a 12-0 run over a 5:26 spanning the end of the first and beginning of the second half to steal momentum. First-year Danielle Racette (North Adams, Mass.) started the run by knocking down a pair of free throws with 21 seconds to play in the first half before Fake canned a three with five seconds to play in the opening stanza to quiet a raucous Coast Guard crowd.
During the run, which was capped off by a layup from junior Andrea Moschetta (Harrison, N.Y.) with 17:29 left, Coast Guard was held to 0-for-3 shooting and turned the ball over four times.
Coast Guard, who trailed by as many as eight points, would mount a rally mid-way through the second half, courtesy of a 9-2 run which started when senior Kaitlin Ward hit a jumper at the 15:34 mark and concluded when sophomore Meghan Fornaro netted a free throw with 12:30 to play to cut the deficit to just one at 34-33.
The Bears would keep battling and took a 45-44 lead with 6:42 to play when sophomore Torie Sutherland knocked down a trifecta off a pass from junior Brittney Zimmerman.
The two clubs would trade points until Fake knocked down the last of her three treys with 3:55 left to give the Pride a 51-48 lead, an advantage they wouldn’t relinquish. Springfield would go up by as many as five with 40 seconds left until Sutherland would hit her second three of the game with 30 seconds to go to cut the Springfield lead to just 56-54 and give the Bears a glimmer of hope.
The Bears would get one final shot at the buzzer but Zimmerman’s shot fell off the rim after it momentarily looked like it would go in to force overtime.
Coast Guard was led by Zimmerman, who scored 10 of her 13 points in the second half. Ward added 11 points and Sutherland finished with 10.
At the start of the game, Lexi Windwer (Milton, Mass.) gave the Pride an early 6-4 lead, taking a hard foul then knocking down both free throws with 17:10 left on the clock. Springfield went up 10-4 as Bickelhaupt hit a jumper from the foul line off a nice feed from Adamopoulos under the basket with 15:33 to go, forcing Coast Guard to call timeout.
With 14:02 left in the half, Coast Guard's Zimmerman drained a deep three-pointer, but Bickelhaupt answered right back on the other end with a quick jumper to go up 12-7. Adamopoulos made it a 14-7 game with 10:57 to go with an easy basket in the paint.
Coast Guard got right back in it, going on a 15-2 run late in the first spanning nearly eight minutes, capped by two free throws from Zimmerman to make it a 22-16 Coast Guard lead with 3:05 left in the half.
Springfield led 25-24 at the half on Fake's big three-pointer. In the second half, Fake knocked down her second big three of the game, late in the shot clock to give Springfield a 37-33 lead with 12:05 to play. The Pride hit back-to-back threes, as Racette drained one with 11:00 left to play for a 40-35 lead.
Alexi Howland (Latham, N.Y.) converted a three-point play for Coast Guard, hitting the basket and the foul to come within two points, but Gins answered on the other end to put Springfield up 42-38 with 9:00 to play.
Howland tied it up a minute later, getting a steal and laying it in to make it a 42-42 game with 8:16 on the clock, forcing the Pride to call timeout. Bickelhaupt came out of the timeout and knocked down a jumper to give Springfield a 44-42 lead with 7:40 left.
Zimmerman scored her first points of the second half on a big three to knot things up, 51-51 with 2:20 to play, but with 1:03 left, Springfield went up 54-51 off a nice jumper from Bickelhaupt off a pass from Fake.
After a free throw from Moschetta with just 28 seconds to go in a 57-54 game, Coast Guard had one last chance, but Zimmerman's three-point attempt was unsuccessful.