Cambridge, Mass. - December 5, 2009 - Much in part to Meghan Biondolillo's career-high 20 points, the Springfield College women's basketball team held on for the 53-51 victory against MIT in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women’s basketball game on Saturday afternoon. Springfield is now tied for first place (2-0) with Babson and WPI in conference play.
For Springfield College Head Coach Naomi Graves, it was win #350 in this her 25th year overall as a head coach, and 19th at Springfield. .
Biondolillo led all scorers with 20 points and added nine rebounds and three steals for the Pride (3-3, 2-0 NEWMAC). The Engineers (2-5, 0-2 NEWMAC) saw three players reach double-digits in scoring, paced by Kristen Whaley who registered 15 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds.
Springfield raced out to an 11-4 lead after 4:25 elapsed in the game. MIT slowly chipped away at the deficit, coming within two (16-14) on a layup by Whaley at the 9:47 mark. A three-pointer from Kelly Murphy and a layup by Amelia Sapowsky returned the seven-point margin to the Pride with 6:16 left in the half. During the next minute the Cardinal and Gray tallied seven unanswered points to even the frame at 21. A trey by Aparna Sud sparked the run which was followed by a pair of free throws and a put-back from Whaley. Springfield went on to record the final five points of the half and entered the break with a 26-21 advantage.
The Pride maintained its small cushion early in the second stanza until MIT tallied eight straight points to go up, 35-33, at 13:58. Springfield responded with a 10-2 spurt to take the lead for good with 9:36 left to play as Biondolillo drained a pair of three-pointers and a layup during that stretch. The Engineers quickly narrowed the gap to two (43-41) but the Pride went on a 7-2 run that was capped by another Biondolillo three-pointer with 5:18 left to play.
MIT continued to attack as it once again trailed by two (50-48) with under two minutes remaining. A pair of free throws from Ashley Blumenthal doubled Springfield’s margin, but a trey from Sud on the hosts’ next trip down the court brought it within one (52-51) with 54 seconds on the clock. The Engineers had several opportunities to drain the go-ahead basket down the stretch but were unable to capitalize. Murphy wrapped up the scoring by converting one of two free-throw attempts with 4.4 seconds left.
Sud finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, and three steals while Stephanie Cooke posted 10 points, five boards, and a block coming off the bench. Anna Merrifield chipped in six caroms, three assists, and a block as Lauren Sascha Burton distributed five assists.
Murphy notched 10 points and four blocks while Sapowsky registered eight points. Andrea Butler contributed 10 rebounds and five assists for the Pride.
Both squads will continue conference play on Wednesday, Dec. 9. MIT will host local foe Babson College while Springfield extends its road trip at WPI.