Springfield College women’s basketball took on MIT in Blake Arena wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the NEWMAC playoffs. The Pride come into the game at No. 4 in the NEWMAC with a conference record of 12-4. MIT came in just one place behind at fifth with a conference record of 10-6.
MIT finished out its regular season on a goodnote by winning three out of their last four. The only loss came against the reigning champ and No. 2 seed Babson College, 56-53. Springfield finished its season losing two of their last three games and dropped from first place in the NEWMAC to fourth because of those losses.
Twenty-six points from junior guard Dolly Yuan helped MIT defeat Springfield, 66-55, Wednesday night. Alex Goslin led the way for the Pride with 15 points in the loss.
“We really struggled getting the ball inside to Grace (Restituyo),” said Springfield head coach Naomi Graves. “I think we did some good things but it was our defensive issues that hurt us.”
The Engineers started off the game strong and got out to an 11-2 lead early in the first quarter, before a timeout from Springfield. After the timeout, sophomore guard Alex Goslin nailed a three and followed with a layup to cut the Engineers lead to three.
Baskets from Kylie Gallagher and Kara Holinski put the Engineers up 15-7. Emily Jacques then hit two free throws, followed by a layup from Chelsea Mcallister to cut MIT’s lead to four. Kylie Gallagher then hit a jump shot to give the Engineers a six point lead. At the end of the first quarter, Dolly Yuan nailed a half court shot at the buzzer to put the Engineers up by nine.
The second quarter was even, as both teams scored 16 points. MIT’s backcourt tandem of Yuan and Holinski each had 13 points in the first half to lead the Engineers went into the half up, 36-27.
During the second quarter, and the first half as a whole, Restituyo was shut down by MIT forward Kylie Gallagher. Restituyo went into the break 2-9 from the field with 5 points.
The Pride started out the second half much better than the first. Led by Emily Jacques and Goslin, the Pride got out to a 9-4 run and were down 40-34 with 4:02 to go in the third.
The Engineers then scored seven points to get out to a 13 point lead over the Pride. MIT held the Pride scoreless for almost four minutes until Grace Restituyo made a layup with eight seconds to go in the third.
Graves was unhappy with the offensive output during that quarter.
“Our third period our scoring wasn’t enough at all we only had nine points we needed to be around 18.”
In the fourth quarter MIT held its lead throughout. The Engineers led by at least nine points throughout the fourth.
With the loss, this marks the second year in a row the Pride have lost in the quarterfinals of the NEWMAC playoffs.
“It’s just frustrating because you work really hard and you want the kids to succeed,” said Graves. “That’s the hardest thing for me. Watching them work so hard and not getting success.”
The Pride will only lose Heather King to graduation next season and, although it is early, Graves is excited about the future
“I’m excited,” Graves said emphatically. “We’ve got a lot of young kids, and I just told them, ‘We just have to learn how well we have to play [in the postseason]’.”