Springfield, Mass. - February 13, 2010 - The Springfield College women's basketball team rattled off its sixth straight victory on Saturday afternoon as it eased past visiting Clark, 65-40, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action. The day was played with both teams taking part in the WBCA Pink Zone Initiative to raise awareness for breast cancer. It was also National Girls and Women in Sports Day on the Springfield College campus.
With the win, Springfield upped its record to 14-9 overall, and its NEWMAC mark to 12-4. SC remains in second place all alone behind Babson with two league games remaining. The Pride has now also won 10 of its last 11 games. Clark, meanwhile, has fallen to 4-19 overall, and 3-13 in conference.
Normally, the last regular-season game of the season is reserved for the seniors. But Springfield this year has no seniors. So, the juniors got together and honored the coaches before the game, noting especially how Head Coach Naomi Graves earlier this season picked up her 350th career coaching victory, and also noting how Coach Graves was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame last October.
It was a game where Springfield never trailed. In fact, this makes two games straight where the Springfield women have not been behind. The Pride played 13 players today, and all 13 scored, led by sophomore guard and co-captain Kelly Murphy (Mechanicville, N.Y.) with 11 points. Murphy, the only SC player who scored in double figures, also added five rebounds, four steals, and one assist. She led the game off with a 3-pointer 44 seconds in.
Two others scored nine points apiece for the Pride. They were junior guard and co-captain Abby Connors (Douglas, Mass.) and freshman guard Meghan Biondolillo (Levittown, N.Y.). Scoring eight points apiece for SC were sophomore Kelly Slattery (Somers, Conn.) and freshman forward Emily Walker (East Lyme, Conn.). Walker also had a team-high 10 rebounds in just 15 minutes worth of action.
Clark, too, had just one double-figure scorer, and that was sophomore forward Kate Minister (Manchester, England) with a game-high 15 points, draining five 3-pointers. Behind her was sophomore guard Ivori Aiken (Harlem, N.Y.) with six points. Senior forward Jillian Camilleri (Lancaster, Mass.) finished with a game-hgh 11 rebounds.
Neither team shot very well today. SC shot .347 from the floor, making just 25-of-72. Clark shot .269, making just 14-of-52. A big difference came on the boards, where SC outrebounded the Cougars, 54-35. SC also forced Clark into 27 turnovers, while committing 17. In terms of points in the paint, SC outscored Clark, 38-6.
In the first 10:30 of the game, Springfield led 17-6, following a lay-up by Murphy. But Clark was able to hold the fort for the next 7 1/2 minutes. When Camilleri hit a jumper with 2:53 left, Clark had closed the gap to 25-17. But then SC scored the final nine points of the half to give the hosts a 34-17 advantage at the intermission. A 3-pointer by Biondolillo at the buzzer gave SC a lot of momentum.
In the scond half, Springfield led by as many as 28 points on three occasions, the first at 49-21 after Slattery made a lay-up with 10:45 to go, and the last at 63-35 when junior Kate LaBelle (Charlestown, R.I.) made a lay-up with 1:29 remaining.
Springfield will kick off a two-game road swing to complete its regular season when it travels to take on local-foe Smith College on Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm.