SPRINGFIELD, Mass., – January 5, 2006 – Christine Cotter scored a career-best 16 points to lead Springfield College to a 63-60 victory over Mount Holyoke College in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference game at Springfield’s Blake Arena this evening. It was the NEWMAC conference opener for both teams.
With the win, Springfield raises its record to 7-4 overall and 1-0 NEWMAC, while Mount Holyoke falls to 8-2 overall and 0-1 NEWMAC. The loss halts an 8-game win streak for the Lyons. MHC was the #1 seed in last year’s NEWMAC post-season tourney.
Cotter, a 5-7 sophomore guard from Stoughton, Mass. and Stoughton High School, scored 10 of her 16 points in the second half. The only other double-figure scorer for the Pride was 6-1 freshman center Lauren O’Connor (Valhalla, N.Y./Valhalla HS) with 14 points. O’Connor also had a game-high 11 rebounds. Two others scored 8 points for Springfield College. They were senior forward Courtney Parvin (Brackney, Pa./Montrose Area) and sophomore guard Tara McCarthy (Bristol, R.I./LaSalle Academy). Senior center Erin Schwartz (Milford, Conn., Joseph A. Foran HS) added 7 points and 10 rebounds.
For Mount Holyoke, senior center Jonee Billy (New York, N.Y.) led with 16 points. She also pulled down 6 rebounds. Junior guard Joeanna Silvey (Boston, Mass./Thayer Academy) added 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Senior forward Jeanne Powers (Danvers, Mass./Danvers HS) scored 8 points and had 8 caroms.
The Lyons started fast, outscoring the Pride 20-6 over the first 12 ½ minutes. When Silvey made a lay-up with 7:31 remaining in the first half, MHC had its largest lead of the game. But when O’Connor made a rebound lay-up with 24 seconds left in the half, Springfield had pulled to within 3 at 26-23. A lay-up by Billy with 13 seconds let gave Mount Holyoke a 28-23 lead at the half.
Springfield had hit just one of its first 10 shots from the field. The lay-up by O’Connor just 18 seconds into the game had given Springfield its only lead of the half.
Up by only 3 early in the second half (30-27), Mount Holyoke then went on a 14-4 run to up its margin to 13 (44-31) with 15:11 left. But that proved to be the high-water mark of the second half for the Lyons.
Springfield began a relentless drive to regain the lead, finally doing so with 5:25 left (53-52) when O’Connor made a hoop from in close. A jumper by Powers momentarily returned the lead to MHC with 4:41 left.
But a lay-up by Parvin with 4:27 left gave Springfield a 55-54 advantage. Powers and Cotter exchanged one free throw apiece, and SC led by one, 56-55, with 2:21 left. The Cotter free had given SC the lead for good. Then came what may have been the game’s most important shot as McCarthy made a long three with 1:23 left (59-55).
No one scored again until MHC junior guard Angela Astuccio (Foxboro, Mass./Foxboro HS) hit a three with just 30 seconds left. But SC junior guard LaToya Franklin (Latham, N.Y./Shaker HS) calmly sank two free throws with 27 seconds left, giving Springfield a 61-58 advantage. Cotter hit another free throw with 13 seconds left, putting SC up by four (62-58).
Senior guard Christine Godin (Fitchburg, Mass./North Middlesex Reg. HS) hit a long jumper with 7 seconds to go to cut it to two (62-60). But Schwartz made one more free throw with 2 seconds to go to seal it.
SC shot .415 from the floor (27-of-65), including .485 in the second half (16-of-33). MHC shot .419 from the floor (26-of-62). MHC outrebounded the Pride, 44-39. O’Connor was 7-of-11 from the floor, Cotter 6-of-11.