Northampton, Mass. - March 1, 2014 - Jaimie Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn.) used 16 points to fuel a key 25-9 first-half run as sixth-seeded Springfield upset second-seeded Wheaton in the 2014 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women’s Basketball Championship semifinal held at Smith College’s Ainsworth Gym.
Springfield will face top-seeded Smith tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. for the conference tournament title. Sunday’s winner will receive the NEWMAC’s automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship tournament.
Bickelhaupt finished with 20 points and Riley Fake (Brockport, N.Y.) added 10 points off the bench for the Pride. Emily Gins (Fort Myers, Fla.) pitched in with nine points and 12 rebounds as Ava Adamopoulos (Ludlow, Mass.) chipped in with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Wheaton junior Abbie Brickley tossed in a game-best 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting and an 8-for-10 afternoon at the charity stripe. She currently sits one point shy of 1,000 for her career. Kiley Shoemaker recorded a double-double as she tossed in 17 points and collected 10 rebounds.
After going ahead 6-5 early, the Lyons led most of the first half and were up by as much as 13 with 12:20 before the half. The Pride then roared back with a 25-9 run and took a three point lead with seconds left in the stanza. Following a free throw by Wheaton’s Laura Pierce, Springfield entered the break with a 35-33 lead.
Brickley tied the game at 35-all after the intermission and later gave Wheaton its only lead of the second half on the front end of a pair of free throws with 17:05 left in the contest. Springfield then regained the lead for good with a jumper by Heather Lewis Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) at the 15:29 mark. The Pride pulled away and took a double-digit advantage as part of a 14-3 outburst midway through the frame. Springfield widened the margin to 20 with 2:13 to go as Brickley helped the Lyons chip away at the deficit as she converted a pair of three-point plays down the stretch.
Photo Credit: Mariah Prescott '14- Smith College