Wellesley, Mass. - February 20, 2010 - Sophomore guard Kelly Murphy poured in a game-high and career-high 21 points to pace the Springfield College women's basketball team to a 77-61 win at Wellesley in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest. Springfield closes out the regular season with a 15-10 overall record, including a 13-5 mark in league action.
Wellesley, meanwhile, drops to 8-15 on the season, 6-12 in the conference.
Springfield thus finishes tied for second in the league standings with WPI, each at 13-5. But WPI has earned the No. 2-seed and Springfield the No. 3 seed, based on tiebreakers. in the upcoming NEWMAC post-season tournament. SC and WPI split on the season. Springfield will next play at home Wednesday night against the very same team it played today, No. 6-seeded Wellesley at 5:30 pm. The Pride swept Wellesley, 2-0, on the season.
Springfield grabbed the momentum early in the opening half, capitalizing on back-to-back threes from Murphy (Mechanicville, N.Y.) to take a 17-8 advantage with 14:40 remaining. KD Stearns (Eustis, Fla.) kept the Blue close with four points, but consecutive buckets from Springfield's Rachelle Walker, a junior guard from Lee, Mass., pushed the lead to 24-10 midway through the period.
Wellesley used a 7-4 run, including two of Robyn Burleson's (Seattle, Wash.) 12 first-half points, to trim the gap to 28-17 with 7:33 remaining, but Springfield maintained a solid lead for the remainder of the period. Shooting 67% from the field in the first half and 6-of-11 from behind the arc, the Pride went to the locker room with a 44-30 advantage.
In the early minutes of the second half the squads traded buckets until five straight points from freshman guard Meghan Biondolillo (Levittown, N.Y.) gave the Pride a 57-38 lead at the 12:09 mark. Wellesley battled back with an 11-1 run, including five points from Malia Maier (Torrance, Calif.) and a tip-in from Katie Martore (Great Falls, Va.), to cut the lead to 58-49 with 7:00 on the clock. But Murphy stopped the bleeding for the Pride with a long trey, pushing the lead back to double-digits. Wellesley kept pace for three more minutes, and two free throws from Maier brought the Blue to within nine with 4:09 remaining. But the Pride answered with a three-pointer from Biondolillo and cruised to a 77-61 win.
Murphy finished with a career-high 21 points for Springfield, while Biondolillo posted 16 points. Sophomore forward Kelly Slattery (Somers, Conn.) recorded 10 points, while junior forward Meagan Macarthur (Baiting Hollow, N.Y.) and junior guard Abby Connors (Douglas, Mass.) each added nine. Freshman forward Emily Walker (East Lyme, Conn.) posted a team-high of seven rebounds, while Slattery recorded five assists.
Maier led the Blue with 17 points while also adding three steals. Also for Wellesley, Burleson scored 12, while Becca Kimball (Weston, MA) added 10. Stearns and Ashleigh Sargent (Bedford, NH) each had six boards, while Martore had six points, four steals, and three assists.