Springfield, Mass. - November 25, 2008 - Freshman Kelly Murphy stole the ball at midcourt and sank a lay-up with 55 seconds left to break a tie and lift the Springfield College women's basketball team to a 73-68 victory over Williams College tonight at Springfield's Blake Arena. With the win, the Pride is now 3-2, while Williams falls to 1-3.
It was a terrific game as both teams mounted spurts during the game. Williams led by as many as seven in the early going -- 18-11 with 10:25 remaining -- while Springfield led by as many as 11 later on in that same half, 39-28 with 1:13 left.
Springfield was led by senior forward Corey Finch (Hanover, Pa.) with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Senior center Lauren O'Connor (Valhalla, N.Y.) followed with 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Pride had one other player finish in double figures, sophomore guard Rachelle Walker (Lee, Mass.) with 15 points, three rebounds, and two assists. Freshman guard Megan Cavanaugh (Lowell, Mass.) had nine points (seven in the first half) and eight rebounds, while Murphy, a freshman from Mechanicville, N.Y., had eight points and a team-high four steals.
Williams, which trailed most of the game until it tied it at 65-all with 3:33 left on a jumper by freshman guard Kelsey Ham (Bozeman, Mont.), was led by sophomore forward Chessie Jackson (Goleta, Calif.) with 15 points, followed by sophomore forward/guard Jessica Harris (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) with 13 (and a team-high 10 rebounds), and senior guard Mika Peterman (Los Altos, Calif.) and freshman guard Jill Greenburg (Westwood, Mass.) with 12 points each.
Springfield jumped out to a 7-3 lead when O'Connor made a lay-up with 15:19 left in the first half. But the Ephs then put together a 15-4 run, culminated by a Peterman 3-pointer, to give Williams its largest lead of the game (18-11) with 10:25 left. Williams led 20-14 when SC scored 11 straight points to take a 25-20 edge. From there, Springfield would hold the lead until the late stages, including a 39-33 advantage at halftime.
In the second stanza, Springfield would lead by as many as 10 (45-35) with 18:09 left on a lay-up by Murphy. From there, SC led anywhere from four to eight points until a Peterman 3-pointer with 6:33 left cut the margin to three, 62-59. A 3-pointer by Jackson with 5:08 left cut it to one (63-62). After Ham tied it at 65-all, Walker made two free throws, giving SC a 67-65 lead with 3:14 left. But Harris would tie it once again on two free throws for the Ephs with 2:14 left. Each team had two opportunities to take command, but could not convert. Peterman came up with a steal with 1:10 left, giving Williams the advantage.
But this is where Murphy picked a pocket at midcourt, and drove the length of the floor for the key bucket of the game. There were 55 seconds left. Following a missed shot by Peterman with 44 seconds left, Murphy was fouled. She went to the line and made the second of two free throws to give SC a three-point edge (70-67) with 37 seconds left. With 29 seconds left, Peterman attempted a 3-pointer that would have tied it, but she missed with O'Connor pulling down the key rebound. Cavanaugh then made two free throws with 23 seconds remaining to put SC up by five (72-67). Greenburg added one free throw with 17 seconds left for the Ephs, and Walker matched that with a free throw with 11 seconds left to seal it.
Springfield shot .438 from the field (28-for-64), while Williams shot .329 (23-for-70). Williams shot just .250 from 3-point range (6-for-24). Springfield enjoyed a 50-38 advantage on the boards, but Williams forced 23 turnovers, while committing only 16. Greenburg finished with a game-high seven steals. She also had five assists. Finch led SC in the assist category with five.
Springfield is now off until next Tuesday (Dec. 2), when it hosts Western Connecticut State at 7:00 pm.