By Gabby Guerard
With Naomi Graves on her feet at halfcourt passionately vouching for her players, senior point guard Danielle Racette continuing to play after losing one of her contacts, and sophomore Chelsea McAllister diving to the ground after a loose ball, the Pride laid everything on the court to earn a victory against MIT on Saturday.
In a close matchup, Springfield was able to defeat MIT 81-65, placing them in a tie for second place along with WPI, and bumping MIT down to fourth in the NEWMAC conference.
Having beat MIT back on Jan. 17 with a score of 73-55, the Pride knew that they would be in for a tough game once again. Faced with this challenging rivalry, several players stepped up to fight for the win.
Senior Ava Adamopoulos was unstoppable in the paint, producing 26 points and 9 rebounds. Adamopoulos was able to provide a sense of dependability down low, which proved to draw the defense back and open up her teammates around the arc.
Junior Lexi Windwer capitalized from the three-point line, shooting an impressive 75 percent. After breaking the Springfield College women’s basketball program record of most three-pointers made in a career last game against Mount Holyoke, Windwer was able to add another 3 from this game to her running total of 184. Windwer is ranked second place in the NEWMAC conference for three-pointers.
The key behind distributing the ball from down low to outside the arc lied in the hands of Racette, who had a career high of 8 assists. In addition to her 6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block, Racette contributed to every aspect of the game, proving to be much more versatile than the average point guard.
After tying with the Engineers at 18 points a piece in the paint at halftime, the Pride stepped up their game in the second half, limiting MIT to only another 8 points, while Springfield added an additional 20. Leading the charge was sophomore Gracie Restituyo, who came up with 7 rebounds.
Off the bench, McAllister shot an impressive 80 percent from the field, accounting for 9 points in the victory. McAllister lead a surge for the Pride during the second quarter, putting up 7 points, accounting for one-third of Springfield’s points during the quarter. She, in addition to Adamopoulos and freshman Alex Goslin, made up the powerful reserves who were able to out score MIT’s bench 39-4.
Reliable starters Heather King and Molly McCausland were also main contributors to the win. King scored double figures for the fifth game in a row, with 13 points against MIT. McCausland put up 7 points and 4 assists.
Given the vast amount of many players that the Pride relied on in order to earn the win, it is clear that the key behind their success is in large part due to their deep, talented roster. This allows the team to cycle through substitutions more frequently, providing fresh legs to replace those who are tired, leading to a very successful season thus far.
Next up, Springfield will travel to play Smith on Wednesday at 7pm. Smith is ranked fifth in the NEWMAC conference.