Tensions ran high. Both teams knew exactly what was on the line.
Prior to Wednesday night’s game, both Babson and Springfield College were 8-0 in NEWMAC play. But only one team could end the game with its undefeated record intact.
First-year guard Rachel Vinton sank a 3-pointer with 5.3 seconds left on the clock, but the team’s last-minute efforts proved to be too little too late. In the end, Babson defeated Springfield 56-60.
The Pride found some momentum early in the first quarter, jumping out to a six-point run to open the game. But Babson went on a seven-point run to take the lead back. The Beavers continued the momentum late in the quarter, building as much as a nine-point lead.
Springfield had a hard time getting anything to drop, while Babson seemed to be hitting almost everything it threw up. At the end of the first quarter, half Babson’s points came in the paint, while two-thirds of Springfield’s came from down low as well.
The Beavers’ momentum carried into the second quarter of play, jumping out to an eight-point run. Sam Hourihan dominated the paint defensively for the Pride, shutting down shots and disrupting passes left and right. She finished the night with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
But Babson’s patient offensive strategy paid off, as the team swung the ball until it found an open player, who inevitably would sink a shot. The Pride went into halftime down 22-32.
Springfield came out with a lot more energy in the second half. The bench shouted the “D-up” chant, there was more life on the court, the team was getting rebounds defensively. But then Babson hit a few big 3-pointers midway through the quarter that sliced through the team’s momentum.
After the Pride called a timeout, sophomore Grace Dzindolet sank a big 3-pointer from the corner to bring the score to 31-44, and Taylor Hall came up with a big block on the other end of the court immediately after. Dzindolet and Hall finished the night with four points, one rebound, and six points, seven rebounds, respectively. Late in the third, Vinton (eight points, three rebounds, two assists) sparked some energy when she drove to the basket, sank a shot, and drew the foul.
There was life again. The whole bench hopped to its feet cheering. Then just 40 seconds later, the first-year did it again. She brought the Beavers’ lead down to eight.
Senior Alex Goslin opened the final quarter with a big 3-pointer from the top to bring Babson’s lead down to six. The point guard finished he night with 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. From there, sophomore Steph Lyons drove hard to the basket and drew the foul. She came up with six points and one rebound on the night.
But the efforts didn’t stop there.
With four minutes left in the game, Hall grabbed an offensive rebound and made a layup to bring the Beavers’ lead down to five. Then with about 2:30 to play, Babson was able to extend it back to seven.
Emily Jacques, who closed out the night with 11 points five rebounds, two assists, and a block, sank a 3-pointer with 1:40 to go, bringing the score to 48-54. But just like that, Babson answered with more points. Then with 1:05 to play, Goslin caught a pass and threw up a 3-pointer seemingly all in one motion, bringing it to 51-56.
The Pride fought every second of the fourth quarter. But for every few points Springfield notched, Babson answered. In the end, it proved to be too little too late for the Pride, as the Beavers defeated Springfield 56-60.
“We just didn’t do the little things,” head coach Naomi Graves said. “You can’t play in runs against a good team. Babson’s a good team. I think we’re going to learn some lessons from this, we’re going to go back tomorrow and work on some of the stuff we need to. We’ve got to make foul shots. We’ve got to rebound better. We’ve got to score in the paint a little better.”
“I don’t believe it was all them that stopped us,” she added. “I think it was us. If you’re going to play a good team, you’ve got to play well.”
The Posse will close out the regular season Saturday as the Pride take on Wellesley for senior day at 12 p.m. in Blake Arena.