By Hayden Choate
The Springfield College women’s basketball team won their final regular-season home game Wednesday night, beating Coast Guard 76-43.
The Pride finished the regular season with a 12-0 record at Blake Arena while improving to 20-3 on the season with one game left, Saturday afternoon at Mount Holyoke.
“It just feels good, I said that to the seniors at the end they’ve led the way,” Springfield head coach Naomi Graves said. “I don’t know if we’ll play back in Blake, I hope we do. It’s just a really nice tribute to the seniors playing on the court, playing. It’s been a great ride. There hasn’t been a season where it’s just been this right, it’s nice it really is.”
Springfield brought a 38-25 lead into halftime and were outrebounding the Bears 21-16. Despite that Graves thought her team had a couple of mental lapses.
“I think the extra hustle was good,” Graves said. “I think we had lapses, they said the same thing it wasn’t perfect there were times where we got out hustled on the rebounds they chased them down they got six offensive rebounds in two possessions they were mental lapses sometimes and I’m constantly saying to them we got to limit those even though we’re up we have to limit that.”
The Posse has had COVID-19 issues since the start of the new year. This was just their second game since Jan. 1 with a full roster.
Graves wanted to make sure that her team played to their potential by showing how strong they can be with a full lineup. Springfield has seven players with five or more points on Wednesday night.
“This is a huge statement to the conference and that’s what I wanted,” Graves said. “I kept saying to the kids, let’s make this statement let them know that we’re back, we’re a full squad.”
“I feel like it was our first game where everyone was back for like the second time in the season,” senior Grace Dzindolet said. “It was great to have everyone out there and play together and have fun. That’s what we’ve been talking about.”
After losing to Smith last Wednesday, Springfield knew they had to have a big week against Emerson and Coast Guard. Scoring 76 points in both games the Pride picked up both important wins.
“I’m impressed with this team but I think you always want to reach the standard a little higher,” Graves said. “You want to strive to be better every time because you can get complacent and we don’t want to go there. That’s why this game is so important. They made us play better. We knew we were going to have to play well to win.”
Graves was complimentary of the way Dzindolet played on and off the court Wednesday as a leader, communicating with the team.
“Grace did a really great job today on the bench when she came out and on the court and at halftime reminding people we don’t take a shot on the second pass,” Graves said. “We gotta talk so we have each other’s back, it’s not a critical thing, it’s a cohesive thing and we started to do that.”
Springfield had 28 assists on Wednesday, showing that they love to move the ball around in the offensive area of the court.
“That’s our game, that’s this team, this team is giving the ball up, that’s why people are coming and watching,” Graves said.
“I think the unselfishness has come from over the past few years just knowing that we want to look for the great shot instead of just a good shot,” Dzindolet said. “Having everyone be able to score is so much better, everyone’s reliable, whoever you pass it to is going to score and it feels good to get assists everyone would rather have more assists than shots.”
The common theme of the team has been their unselfishness. No matter what year they are on the team, everyone has bought in for each other.
“Sometimes you read quotes where they say, ‘The greater good ends up being when you give of yourself to get more’ that’s this team,” Graves said.
Photo: Springfield College Athletics