By Luke Whitehouse
With four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Angie Czeremcha ripped the ball from an MIT player attempting to rebound the ball. She then proceeded to make a layup attempt while getting fouled in the process. After making the first free throw, Emma Glaser grabbed the rebound off of the second attempt and dropped the ball off to the cutting Czeremcha, capping off a three-point play.
This was a common theme throughout the game, as Czeremcha led the Pride with 19 points and 13 rebounds and showed a constant effort on both ends of the floor.
From there on, it looked like Czeremcha and the Pride were going to rip the game right from under the Engineers’ grasp.
The Pride, down 57-43 at the time, proceeded to go on a 15-4 run to close out the final quarter strong, but ultimately, coming up short in a 61-58 loss.
“I’m really proud of the effort,” Springfield head coach Naomi Graves said. “The only concern is that there were opportunities to win the game.”
The game didn’t exactly start the way it ended.
MIT jumped out to an early 11-2 lead, playing with effort and intensity on both ends of the floor.
MIT forward Kamsi Nwogy dominated early, scoring 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half alone. The Engineers attacked the paint early and often, as the Pride provided no answer to the constant presence in the paint.
“We really just didn’t play good defense,” Graves said. “We needed to do a better job defending them before the catch…and so we got caught behind. To their credit, they did a nice job of attacking us off the dribble.”
At the half, MIT clung to a 32-28 lead － a game that remained in reach for Springfield.
The third quarter had much of the same back-and-forth action but then the Engineers started to find that offensive magic that plagued the Pride early in the first half.
Thirteen points in the final four minutes gave MIT a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
That momentous offense was carried into the fourth, extending its lead to a game-high 13 points with five minutes to go.
“We struggled offensively tonight,” Graves said. “We played hard tonight, just not smart [at times].”
The Pride, led by Sam Hourihan and her 14 points, played great down the stretch though and had a golden opportunity with 13 seconds left.
MIT guard Paula Piepier threw the ball away on an inbound pass, giving the Pride one final shot to tie the game at 61.
Each team emerged from their huddles after a Springfield timeout.
The Pride got the ball to their best player in Hourihan, as they hoped to set up the final shot. But then, two MIT defenders closed into a double team forcing Hourihan into a costly turnover, effectively ending the comeback attempt.
The Pride (12-6) will look to avenge the loss as they host Babson (16-2) on Saturday inside Blake Arena.
Photo: Springfield College Athletics