Late Wednesday night Springfield College women’s basketball took on the WPI Engineers in Blake Arena. Last time the two teams met the Pride fell to the Engineers 53-49 despite 14 points from sophomore guard Alex Goslin.
This time however, the Pride came out on top beating the Engineers 56-44. The women were led by Chelsea McAllister with 19 points. Along with McAllister, sophomore guard Emily Jacques added 14 points and Grace Restituyo had 8 points and 15 rebounds.
Mcallister credits her defense to the big night.
“I know if I get a stop on defense my rhythm will come,” she said. “I got my rhythm (tonight) and I (have) been practicing on my rhythm shot.”
The game started out even with neither team pulling away. The first quarter ended with Springfield leading 14-13. In the second quarter the Pride turned up the defensive intensity and scored six to lead 20-13. WPI rallied back and managed to go into to the half down 23-19.
WPI came into the matchup fifth in all of Division III in defensive points per game at 45.6. But Springfield at the half looked like the better defensive team as the women forced 13 turnovers and made every shot that the Engineers took extremely difficult.
“I can’t say enough about our defense,” said Springfield head coach Naomi Graves. “I think what we struggled with the most was our offense and Chelsea (Mcallister) was our release quite frankly. She hit some big shots in big possessions.”
The Pride opened up the second half by extending their lead to 28-19 after after back to back scores from Jacques and Restituyo. Wth 3:37 left in the third quarter sophomore Lauren Rudolph and Restituyo scored back to back baskets to give the Pride a commanding 34-25 lead.
WPI quickly fired back scoring six unanswered points cutting the Pride’s lead to only three. To close out the quarter, McAllister hit a deep three to give the women a 37-31 lead going into the fourth quarter.
To open the fourth quarter Springfield’s Heather King scored to give the Pride a 39-31 lead. From then on the women never led by less than seven and cruised to a 56-44 win over the Engineers.
Goslin, who leads the Pride in scoring at 11.0 points per game, was face guarded and double teamed all night and struggled in the contest. Goslin shot 0-4 from the field but managed to get three points from the free throw line.
“We all have tough nights shooting, we’ve all been there, ” Graves said. “I think Chelsea stepped up big taking the point position when they were face guarding or double teaming Alex. Everytime she got the ball they were doubling her. The nice thing about our team is that we are five people playing as one and any five on that court is going to be strong.”
Up next the women will take on Emerson this Saturday at 1pm.