Springfield, Mass. -- January 1, 2013 -- Tamara Tribble and Heather Lewis scored 16 points apiece to lead their Springfield College women's basketball team to a 55-48 upset victory over previously unbeaten Swarthmore in the opening round of the Hampton Inn/Naismith Classic this afternoon at SC's Blake Arena.
In the second game of the afternoon, Bridgewater State held on for a 56-53 win against Eastern Connecticut State to advance to the championship game. ECSU will play Swarthmore in the consolation game on Wednesday at 1:00 pm, while the championship game will begin at 3:00 pm.
Springfield 55, Swarthmore 48
The Pride snapped a seven-game losing streak, while the Garnet fell for the first time in eight games this season. Springfield is now 2-7, while Swarthmore is 7-1.
The Pride led the vast majority of the contest, including 32-22 at the half. In fact, Swarthmore led by one point on only one occasion, 37-36, with 10:59 remaining in the game on a 3-pointer by Jessica Jowdy. The score was tied on three occasions -- at 2-2, 6-6, and 48-48 with 3:43 left when Katie Lytle made one of two free throws for the Garnet.
Springfield played its strongest showing of the 2012-2013 season to date, and played perhaps its best half in the first 20 minutes. In that stanza, SC shot .483 from the floor, and out-rebounded the Garnet, 25-19, while holding Swarthmore to a .235 shooting percentage from the field.
The Pride jumped out to an 11-point lead at the start, taking a 19-8 advantage when Lewis made the second of her two three-pointers in a 36-second span with 10:30 remaining in the half.
Swarthmore cut it to four (25-21) when Elizabeth Casey hit a jumper with 5:48 left. But an SC 7-1 run would send the Pride into the intermission with a load of confidence.
Lewis scored 14 of her 16 points in that first half, while Tribble scored 10 of her 16 in the same time frame. And SC had its largest halftime lead of the season.
A 15-4 run by the Garnet to start the second half changed the game. A three-pointer by Jowdy cut SC's lead to three (34-31) with 14:16 left. And another three by Jowdy gave Swarthmore its only lead of the game (37-36) with 10:59 to go.
But just 23 seconds later, SC's Meghan Biondolillo made a three-pointer of her own, and Tribble followed that up with a lay-up, making it 41-37 with 9:10 remaining.
Following Lytle's free throw which tied matters with 3:43 left, Lewis made her only hoop of the second half, a driving lay-up, with 3:32 left. Tribble made two free throws with two minutes even remaining. When Jessie Klauer made two more free throws with just 15 seconds left, that sealed it.
Tribble led SC with 13 rebounds, while Emily Walker added nine, and Jaimie Bickelhaupt had eight. Bickelhaupt was the only other double-figure scorer for the Pride with 10 points.
Eliza Polli was the only double-figure scorer for the Garnet. Elle Larsen and Jowdy each followed with nine points, and Madeline Ross had eight. Lytle led all rebounders with 14.
Bridgewater State 56, ECSU 53
Michaela Cosby poured in a game-high 21 points, including the final four points of the game to power Bridgewater State to a three-point win. The Bears, which led by as many as 17 in the first half, used a pair of buckets in the lane from Cosby in the final 1:55 to seal the victory. Megan Boutilette added 10 points and nine rebounds, while Rachel Kusz chipped in eight points off the bench.
Shannon McCourt had a tremendous showing for the Warriors, notching a double-double with 20 points and 16 rebounds on 10-of-15 shooting. Jill Ritrosky posted 11 points and six points, and Kristina Forsman produced nine points and four assists.
ECSU finished the game shooting 46.8% from the floor, hitting 22 of its 47 field goal attempts. However, the Warriors committed 24 turnovers, which ultimately led to 30 Bridgewater State points. The Bears shot just over 38% for the game (24-63), but struggled from beyond the arc, hitting just 6 of 23 bids.
After ECSU's Megan Cardarelli knocked down a jumper to cut Bridgewater State's lead to four at 23-19 with 4:37 left on the clock, the Bears poured on a 13-0 run in just 3:30 to snag a commanding 17-point lead. Cosby had seven points in the run, which was highlighted by three consecutive trifectas.
Trailing by 12 at intermission, ECSU opened up the second half on a 19-6 burst to grab a 43-42 lead following a Victoria Pfhol three-ball. The Warriors maintained the lead until Kusz converted a great inside look from Cosby with 4:01 left in regulation, putting the Bears up 52-51. Forsman scored down low with 2:13 on the clock to put the Warriors back on top, only to have Cosby come up in the clutch en route to the three-point victory.