Despite 16 points and 10 rebounds from junior forward Jamie Bickelhaupt, the Springfield College women’s basketball team fell to Wheaton College 57-36 on Wednesday night at Blake Arena.
The Lyons were better than the Pride in every aspect of the game, and were led by Kiley Shoemaker with 17 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.
With the win, the Lyons improve to 3-0 (1-0), while Springfield fell to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
The start of the game was sloppy for both sides. Neither team could find a rhythm, with possession changing rather quickly.
Once the game progressed, the Lyons began to settle in. With the game tied at 4-4, Wheaton went on a run, which gave the Lyons a big lead that ultimately determined the outcome of the game.
Capping the run, Wheaton guard Laura Pierce drained a three-pointer to put the visiting Lyons up 15-4 with 10:19 remaining in the first half.
With the Pride already using all three of their timeouts and their inability to slow down the Lyons’ attack, Wheaton’s Emily Romans hit an inside layup to increase the Lyons’ lead to 21-4.
As the end of the first half neared, the Pride attempted to make a run, but their play continued to be out of sync. When Springfield created good shots, they just didn’t fall.
Springfield ended the half down 33-13, with 23 turnovers being a major reason why the deficit was so large.
“We just mentally broke down,” said Graves following the loss.
In the beginning of the second half, Wheaton continued their dominant play.
The Lyons controlled the offensive end with 22 rebounds to the Pride’s 16.
Bickelhaupt had some nice moves to the basket to try and cut the deficit for the Pride, but Wheaton had an answer every time.
Shoemaker was aided by junior forward Abbie Brickley, who contributed with 16 points and caused havoc in the paint for Springfield.
Brickley also showed her awareness with six steals.
However, Springfield improved in the second half as the Pride limited the amount of turnovers to 11 and increased the intensity.
After a disappointing first half, Springfield was only out-scored 24-23 in the second stanza.
Graves knows what her team is capable of and is looking forward to the rest of the season.
“I really believe in this unit. We are a better basketball team,” Graves stated.
Springfield will now find out what they are made of with four New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference games in a row. The Pride will look forward to an away game with conference-foe MIT on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m.