Everyone left the court of Blake Arena frustrated — coaches and players alike.
“We shoulda, coulda, woulda,” said head coach Naomi Graves, shaking her head in frustration.
She said the Springfield College women’s basketball team was missing its “heartbeat” on Tuesday evening, as the Pride were defeated by Worcester State 68-60. The team now drops to an overall record of 5-4.
The Pride came out quiet in the first quarter, as they were outscored by the Lancers 20-8. The team responded in the second quarter with a late 9-0 run with just under five minutes remaining in the half, to close the Lancer lead to a mere one point, at 29-28.
Senior forward Chelsea McCallister was a major contributor across the board, with three defensive rebounds, three points, two steals, and one block in the final 3:30 of this run.
But the momentum flipped once again at the start of the second half, when the Pride looked flat. Meanwhile, the Lancers put up a quick nine points within the first 3:30 of the third quarter.
Graves, frustrated, used two timeouts asking for a response.
“One of the things I used my timeouts for in the third period was that we needed to make some changes, energy changes,” she said. “We had just talked about how we had to outwork them [during] halftime, so we were talking about how to control our energy and effort, like we needed rebounding, we needed to take care of the ball better, we needed to execute on offense, we needed to get more offensive possessions, so we needed to crash [the boards] more.”
And for the remainder of the quarter, she did get a response.
Coming out of the second timeout, freshman forward Amanda Carr hit a 3-pointer, followed by freshman guard Grace Dzindolet sinking two free throws and picking up a steal and an assist. The two provided a temporary spark of energy, Carr earning an additional two points and an offensive rebound, while Dzindolet added a steal, before the end of the quarter.
Though, Graves said this spark came too late in the game.
“I thought Grace [Dzindolet] did a better job, I thought Amanda [Carr] did a better job… [but] I still need points. I need my bench to do more,” she explained. “When my starters are down, like I think my starters were down today, we’ve got to get it from the bench, and that’s their opportunity to shine. But we didn’t have any points from the bench at halftime.”
The Pride went into the final quarter down by six with a score of 48-42, but again, struggled to come out strong. Worcester State hit two 3-pointers less than 1:30 into the quarter, and despite Springfield playing it out until the end, the team was unable to come back from that deficit.
The Pride were led by McCallister, who finished with 13 points, followed by Taylor Hall with 11, then Emily Jacques and Alex Goslin tied at 10 points each.
Looking ahead, Graves reports that the team will look to work on rebounding to prevent offensive put-backs, and creating an offensive urgency to score.
The Pride will try to execute those goals when they play next, traveling to Westfield State on Friday, December 14. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.