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WPI Holds Off Women's Basketball, 53-49

Emily Gins Box Score

Springfield, Mass. - January 29, 2014 - The Springfield College women's basketball team battled to the final seconds, but fell to visiting WPI, 53-49 on Wednesday in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action in Blake Arena.

Jaimie Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn.) led Springfield with a team-high 12 points and seven rebounds while Emily Gins (Fort Myers, Fla.) chipped in 10 points and six boards. Lexi Windwer (Milton, Mass.) and Heather Lewis (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) tallied eight points and seven points, respectively.

WPI's Dani Davis (East Granby, Conn.) was the game's leading scorer, tallying 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including three trifectas. Kelly Morgan (Brookline, N.H.) added eight points for the Engineers.

The game came down to the final seconds as the Engineers took their first lead of the game at the 13:11 mark of the second half after a pair of Davis free throws. Bickelhaupt knotted things up at 37-37 after hitting a jumper from the foul line with 9:50 left to play and Emily Taylor (West Springfield) put the Pride up 39-37 on a nice jumper from the right side.

After Tess Nogueira (Merrimac, Mass.) scored for WPI in the paint, Windwer knocked down a huge three-pointer from the corner to go up 42-41 with 6:42 to play.

Over the next 3:01, WPI scored eight unaswered points to surge ahead 50-42. They key bucket in the strech came with 4:22 left on the clock, as Davis drained a three-pointer with just two seconds on the shot clock. A straight-away three by Bickelhaupt and a baseline jumper by Windwer brought Springfield within one with 1:20 to go, but the Engineers hit three free throws in the final seconds to clinch it.

With the loss, Springfield drops to 10-9 overall and 6-8 in the NEWMAC. WPI improves to 8-10 on the season and 6-7 in conference play.

Bickelhaupt put the Pride on the board in the opening minute and Gins rattled off two quick baskets to give the Pride an early 6-2 lead. Windwer made it a seven-point game 4:44 into the half, knocking down a three-pointer to go up 9-2.

WPI quickly erased the deficit, stringing together a 9-2 run to tie the game up 14-14. Davis was big early on for the Engineers, scoring their first eight points of the game on a lay up and two three-pointers. A pair of threes by Davis and Morgan cut the lead to just three points with 14:05 to play in the first, then a Siena Mamayek (Melrose, Mass.) free throw and a Davis jumper knotted the game up a 14 points apiece.

The Pride built its lead back up to six, putting together a 6-0 run on baskets by Dina Pitsas (Milford, N.H.), Danielle Racette (North Adams, Mass.) and Lewis. The Pride led 22-16 with 7:36 left in the half.

Davis and Amaia Gritsko (Milford, Conn.) scored on back-to-back possessions for WPI to make it a 22-20 Pride lead, but Gins drained a jumper from the right side then gave Bickelhaupt a nice feed in the paint to make it a 26-20 game with 4:23 left on the clock.

With under a minute to play in the first, Lewis found Ava Adamopoulos (Ludlow, Mass) wide open under the basket and the first-year dropped it in for a 28-25 lead. WPI made one last strike with 18 seconds left in the half as Morgan knocked down a shot from the perimeter to bring the Engineers within three. Springfield led 28-25 at halftime.

This Saturday, Springfield will look to get back to its winning ways with its first trip to new-league foe Emerson for a 1:00 pm tip.

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Naomi Graves Entering her 23rd season as head coach in 2013-14, Naomi Graves has directed her squads to an impressive 323-261 record (.553 winning percentage). Since joining the Division III ranks in 1995, Graves has led the Pride to 12 post-season bids in the past 18 years, including five berths in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Read more.

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