The Springfield College women’s basketball team was defeated by NEWMAC opponent Smith College after a physical, back and forth game with a final score of 50-42. The Pride now fall to 13-7 overall, and have a NEWMAC record of 9-2.
The game began with a much slower pace offensively, due to the tight defense that both teams brought to the court. It was clear right from the beginning that this would likely be a very tight game.
Junior point guard Alex Goslin opened the second quarter with an offensive rebound, followed by driving to the basket for a quick two points. The energy picked up between both teams, and Springfield was able to earn their largest lead of the night halfway through the quarter, with a score of 23-16. However, the Pride would be unable to score for the remaining five minutes, allowing the Pioneers to tie the game 23-23 at halftime.
Springfield continued to struggle offensively in the second half. It took the team nearly nine minutes before they were able to add any points to the scoreboard in the third quarter. When they did, it only accumulated to a total of three points, all of which came from the free-throw line.
Meanwhile, the Pioneers shot 40 percent from the field and added 16 points, to lead 39-26. Smith’s physical style of play seemed to disrupt the flow of Springfield’s offense. This resulted in possessions where the team was unable to get a good shot off, turnovers, and forcing the players to make errors while executing their plays.
Knowing they had to turn things around, the Pride took the court in the fourth quarter with a great deal of energy. Senior Gracie Restituyo, who was in danger of foul trouble after picking up three early in the first half, became a force in the paint. After scoring only one point in the first three quarters, she put up eight points in the fourth quarter alone. The forward finished the night with nine points and nine rebounds.
Senior Chelsea McCallister also helped the Pride offensively. She scored four points in the last quarter, finishing the night with nine points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
In the end, the Pride were unable to recover from their third quarter performance, and fell to Smith by eight points. But, Springfield’s defensive efforts were able to keep Smith to just 50 points, which is notable considering the Pioneers average 71 points per game.
This was also true of their prior performance against Smith earlier this season. In the Pride’s victory back in November, they held the Pioneers to 52 points, beating them by seven.
Moving forward, the Pride will look to create momentum on Saturday, when they host NEWMAC opponent Wellesley in Blake Arena Saturday at 3 p.m.