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Women's Basketball Wins Sixth-Straight, Edging Amherst, 56-50

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., February 7, 2006 – Courtney Parvin scored 14 points and Lauren O’Connor added 10 points and a career- and game-high 18 rebounds to lead the Springfield College women’s basketball team to a 56-50 victory over Amherst College in a non-conference game at Springfield’s Blake Arena tonight.

With the win, Springfield raises its record to 17-5 overall, while Amherst falls to 9-12 overall. Springfield has now won 12 of its last 13.

Parvin, a 5-10 senior forward from Brackney, Pa. and Montrose Area HS, scored 9 of her 14 points in the second half, when Springfield made its move. She also had 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, while playing all 40 minutes. Christine Cotter, a 5-7 sophomore guard from Stoughton, Mass. and Stoughton HS, got hot at the right time in the second half. She made three straight threes which allowed the game to be broken open, and finished with 13 points for the Pride.

For the Lord Jeffs, two scored in double figures. They were 6-2 senior center Julie Smith (Villanova, Pa./Radnor HS) with 13 points (and 8 rebounds), and 5-10 sophomore forward Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) with 10 points (all in the second half, the only half she played).

This was a game of streaks, especially for Springfield College. The Pride raced off to a 13-1 at the very start, culminated by a Shannon Wiggin short jumper. Wiggin is a 5-10 freshman forward from Levant, Maine (Hermon HS). But Amherst came back strong, taking advantage of some poor Pride shooting, and took a 23-20 lead at the half.

Smith scored 7 of her 13 in that first half. Neither team shot well – Amherst .391 (9-of-23), Springfield just .265 (9-of-34).

Springfield really turned on the jets to start the second half, scoring 15 straight points immediately following a 3-pointer by Amherst senior guard Kristine Morin (Litchfield, N.H./Bishop Guertin HS), which gave Amherst its largest lead at 26-20. Springfield was destined to take the lead for good when 5-8 sophomore guard Katie Castignetti (Braintree, Mass./Braintree HS) made two free throws with 16:24 remaining, giving SC a 27-26 advantage. SC led 35-28 when Cotter made three consecutive threes. At the end of that run, SC led 44-33. When 5-9 sophomore guard Tara McCarthy (Bristol, R.I./LaSalle Academy) made a lay-up with 11:21 left, SC had its largest lead of the second half at 46-33.

Little did anyone know that SC was destined to make only two more field goals the rest of the way. Amherst began its relentless comeback, and actually closed it to one point at 51-50 when Morin made a short jumper with 1:17 left. But Parvin made two free throws with 52 seconds left (53-50), McCarthy made one free throw with 38 seconds left, and O’Connor closed the scoring with two free throws with 15 seconds left to ice it.

The Pride outrebounded the Lord Jeffs, 49-39, for the contest. SC wound up shotting .302 (19-of-63), while Amherst shot .345 (20-of-58).

Springfield will return to conference action this Saturday (Feb. 11) when it travels to Smith for a 2 pm encounter.

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Head Coach Naomi Graves

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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