SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – February 10, 2007 –Tara McCarthy scored 20 points, including the 1000th of her career, to lead her Springfield College women’s basketball team to a 66-55 victory over Smith College in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference game this afternoon at Smith’s Ainsworth Gymnasium.
With the win, Springfield went over the .500 mark at 12-11 overall, and is now 7-4 in the NEWMAC. Smith fell to 2-20 overall, 1-10 in conference play. At the end of the day, SC finds itself in a tie for fifth with Babson in the league standings. SC pretty much has to win its final two regular-season conference games in order to gain a first-round home game in the NEWMAC post-season tourney which begins on Wednesday, Feb. 21.
This game was highlighted by McCarthy’s 1000th point. Needing 11 points, the junior guard from Bristol, R.I. notched her 10th, 11th, and 12th points of the afternoon on a three-point shot from the right baseline with 8:48 left in the first half, giving SC a 20-7 lead at the time. McCarthy became just the 11th player in Springfield College women’s basketball history to reach 1000. Tara actually moved into the #10 slot during the contest with her new total of 1,009 career points. She moved ahead of Jen Crawford (1982-85), who ended with 1,002. Next, in the #9 slot, is Michelle Busa (1983-87), who has 1,015.
McCarthy got SC off on the right foot immediately, scoring the game’s first five points, and SC’s first six points. Her 10-footer just 22 seconds into the contest put SC on top to stay. She added a three-pointer exactly one minute later. Her three-pointer with 12:22 left put SC ahead 13-4.
When sophomore guard Liz Jordan (Sandwich, Mass.) hit a 17-footer off a nice feed from junior guard Christine Cotter (Stoughton, Mass.) with 3:15 left, SC had its largest lead of the first half at 32-14.
Less than a minute later, the game’s scariest moment came about as Jordan was involved in a collision underneath the Smith basket, where she fell in a heap and rolled over, face-down. Purely as a precautionary measure, and after a 25-minute delay, Jordan was removed from the game via stretcher and brought to a nearby hospital as a result of “tenderness” to a vertebra in the back of her neck. She did have movement to all extremities. A medical update will come as soon as there is a report issued.
The score was 32-18, SC, at the half.
McCarthy and sophomore forward Corey Finch (Hanover, Pa.) scored back-to-back hoops to open the second stanza, giving the Pride a 36-18 lead with 18:10 left. SC later led by as many as 22 at 49-27 when Cotter made a three-pointer with 11:08 left.
When senior forward Helena Charron (Portland, Me.) scored on a 15-footer with 7:48 left, Smith had cut the margin to 15 (at 51-36).
But this is where reserve sophomore center Liz Brosseau (Franklin, Mass.) took over. In a 3:28 span, Brosseau scored all 11 of her points. When she made a nifty lay-up on a perfect feed from junior guard Katie Castignetti (Braintree, Mass.) with 3:32 left, SC had upped its margin to 20 once again at 64-44.
In the last 3:16, Smith closed with an 11-2 run to make the final, 66-55.
For SC, the only two double-figure scorers were McCarthy (20) and Brosseau (11). McCarthy was 7-of-13 from the field, including 5-of-8 from three-point range. McCarthy also had four assists, three rebounds, and two steals. Brosseau was 3-of-3 from the field, and 5-of-6 from the line. She also had three rebounds and one block in just 10 minutes of action.
Sophomores Lauren O’Connor (Valhalla, N.Y.) and Finch each scored eight points. O’Connor added nine rebounds, while Finch was 4-of-4 from the field.
For Smith, sophomore forward Courtney Parker (Ocean City, Md.) led her team with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Freshman guard Lisa Marie Vuono (Lyndhurst, N.J.) had 10 points and five rebounds.
SC out-rebounded Smith, 32-29. As a team, SC shot .510 for the game (25-of-49), including .542 in the first half (13-of-24). Smith shot .407 from the floor (22-of-54), but only .292 in the first half (7-of-24) when SC established control. SC had 17 assists in 25 baskets, led by Cotter’s five.
Up next, SC will play at Clark on Wednesday night (Feb. 14) at 5:30 p.m.