The Pride earned their second win of the season with a 47-42 victory over NEWMAC rival Babson College on Tuesday night in Blake Arena. Springfield also recorded their first win in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference. Sophomore guard Heather Lewis led the team with 17 points. Babson was led by sophomore forward Linnett Graber, who matched Lewis with a team-high 17 points.
It appeared to be a game of runs. Babson started off the game up 5-0, but the Pride quickly answered. A Lexi Windower layup put the Pride up 6-5 in the early going. Windower finished with six points. Springfield led 12-9 near the halfway mark of the first half, but that quickly changed. Babson’s Graber was too much for the Pride in the beginning. Graber helped her team go on a 10-0 run to put the Beavers up 19-12.
After the big run by Babson, the Beavers would only score three more points in the final eight minutes of the first half. Lewis made a nice jump shot in the left corner (1:58) to cut the deficit to 22-17. The Pride would then add two more buckets to end the half on a 6-0 run and down just 22-21.
With just eight points in the first half, Lewis came out strong in the second half. Her layup just 14 seconds into the second half allowed Springfield to retake the lead at 23-22. From there, the teams continued to exchange the lead. After a three-point basket from Graber to put Babson up 26-25, however, the Beavers would not take the lead again for the rest of the game. The Pride improved their defense with solid pressure to make Babson’s offense very uncomfortable.
Jaimie Bickelhaupt and Tamara Tribble worked hard down low to maintain possession on the offensive end. A series of offensive rebounds helped the Pride regroup. Bickelhaupt added eight points for Springfield.
Babson’s Kristen Ferola sank a three-pointer to cut the deficit to four, 35-31 Pride with 9:40 left in the game. The Pride stayed strong, however, and held the lead down the stretch. A layup on the left side by Windower proved to be the game-changer, putting the Pride up 44-39 with just 1:48 left in the contest.
The key ingredient to the Pride’s success was their ability to come together as a team.
“At the end of the game when you’re winning close, that’s when the unity of the five people on the floor matter,” said coach Naomi Graves.
The Pride improved to 2-3 on the season and 1-2 in the conference. Babson fell to 2-3 on the season and 1-2 in the conference. Springfield’s next game is December 4 at NEWMAC rival WPI. Babson’s next game is also December 4 at home against Wellesley.