SPRINGIFLED — After being down by as many as eight points in the first half, the Springfield College women’s basketball team went on its best scoring run of the night. Then with just second remaining before halftime, senior Alex Goslin drove to the basket to tie the score.
From that moment forward, the Pride never looked back.
In the end, Springfield College defeated Western New England University (WNEU) 51-40 Tuesday night. The Pride are now 2-0 on the season, while the Golden Bears fall to 1-1.
The game opened with back and forth play between Springfield and WNEU. Though by the end of the first quarter, the Golden Bears had developed a great deal of momentum.
WNEU carried it’s momentum into the second quarter, and Springfield struggled to get its shots to fall. Though, the team changed that about halfway through the quarter, with the help of Grace Dzindolet. The sophomore was a spark on the court, picking off numerous steals and driving hard to the basket. Dzindolet finished the night with four rebounds, four steals, two assists, and one point.
Goslin took it from there, and after a relatively quiet start offensively, the senior kicked it into high gear.
She was able to tie the score up heading into halftime, as she faked out nearly all the WNEU defenders and drove to the basket, sinking a layup to make it 24-24.
But she wasn’t done yet.
Goslin picked up the team’s first points of the second half by sinking a jump shot, giving the Pride a two-point lead. Though, anytime Springfield scored, WNEU would answer. When Goslin pulled up for another jumper to extend the Pride’s lead to four points, WNEU drained a 3-pointer, bringing it back within one.
However, Goslin wasn’t the only one who stepped up.
She passed the ball outside to Steph Lyons with just under two minutes to go. From there, Lyons drained a 3-pointer without hesitation to extend the lead back out to four.
Then with 30 seconds in the quarter and five seconds left on the shot clock, Goslin pulled up from the top of the arc and drained another 3-pointer. The five-foot senior finished the night with a team-high 12 rebounds and 15 points.
“I think Alex has always been the motor that runs our team… She did phenomenal, I mean the fact she can even rebound that many times at the point guard position and the size of her, she’s the smallest kid on the floor and she comes up with the ball – figure that out,” Springfield College women’s basketball head coach Naomi Graves said. “But I think she just bled for this game and her team bled with her and I think she’s our heartbeat. I talk about that every season, you know, who’s our heartbeat on the team? And Alex has been our heartbeat for a couple years now and today was just no exception, she excelled in every area.”
The Pride went into the fourth quarter with an 11-point lead, but WNEU never stopped fighting. The Golden Bears brought it within five, with just over four minutes to go in the game.
First-year forward Sam Hourihan stepped up just seconds after being subbed back in, driving to the basket to not only make her layup, but also draw the foul. She finished the play by sinking her free throw, extending the Pride’s lead to 47-37.
“In practice yesterday, we were talking about how our three-point plays need to be and-one’s and we’ve got to really hit it hard in the paint, work inside-outside, and if we get the ball in, then our outside people be open for the attack,” Goslin said. “And that’s sort of what developed in the second half and our defense really fueled our offense and we really locked them down and that gave us a little edge on offense as well.”
In the end, Springfield picked up its second victory of the season, closing out the night with a 51-40 win. Though, this win was about more than just the final score.
It was about playing well against a talented opponent.
“We always know it’s going to be a battle with Western New England and we love to play them because they make us better, and last year we didn’t finish how we wanted to against them,” Goslin said. “This is one of those stepping stones and this is going to be a big game down the road that we can look back on and be like ‘How’d we do against Western New England?’ They’re a great measuring stick for us, and it’s great that we could come up on top this year, and I think that was a tribute to the hard work we’ve been putting in.”
Next the Pride will travel to Trinity College for a tournament this weekend, facing Montclair State Friday at 7 p.m.
Featured photo courtesy Jack Margaros