SPRINGFIELD, Mass., – January 2, 2006 – Tara McCarthy scored 14 points, including the winning jumper with 21 seconds left, to propel host Springfield College to a 62-60 overtime victory over St. Lawrence University of Canton, N.Y. in the consolation game of the Holiday Inn-Naismith Women’s Basketball Classic at Springfield’s Blake Arena this afternoon.
With the win, Springfield raises its record to 6-4 while St. Lawrence falls to 4-5. The win halted a 3-game losing streak for the Pride. Later on today at 5:30 pm in the championship game, Bates College (5-5) of Lewiston, Maine will take on Trinity University of San Antonio, Texas (8-1).
This was a game of ebbs and flows. The largest lead for Springfield was 8, the largest lead for St. Lawrence was 6. There were 8 ties, including 1 at the end of regulation, and 4 more in the overtime.
After sophomore guard Jamie Wolff (Buffalo, N.Y./Nardin Academy) made 2 free throws with 31 seconds left in the overtime, tying the score at 60-all for St. Lawrence, it was up to McCarthy. The sophomore guard from Bristol, R.I. and LaSalle Academy weaved her way through and stopped to swish an 8-foot jumper from the right of the key with 21 seconds left, putting Springfield up for good. The starring Nora Curley, a senior forward from Madrid, N.Y., then missed a difficult shot with 6 seconds left for the Saints as McCarthy secured the all-important defensive rebound for the Pride.
Besides McCarthy, three others scored in double figures for SC. They included senior forward Courtney Parvin (Brackney, Pa./Montrose Area HS) with 11 points (and 4 rebounds), senior center Erin Schwartz (Milford, Conn./Joseph A. Foran HS) with 10 points (and 9 rebounds), and freshman center Lauren O’Connor (Valhalla, N.Y./Valhalla HS) with 10 points (and 8 rebounds). In addition, freshman forward Tara Smyth (Upper Saddle River, N.J./Landmark HS) had 7 points and 8 rebounds.
McCarthy had also made a difficult lay-up with 39 seconds left in regulation to tie matters at 51-all, sending it into overtime.
For St. Lawrence, Curley led with 16 points. Also scoring in double figures were junior guard Brittany Gaetano (New Hartford, N.Y./New Hartford HS) with 13 points, and junior forward Andrea Muszynski (Buffalo, N.Y./Mount Mercy HS) with 10 points (and 7 rebounds, 1 block, and 3 steals). In addition, sophomore guard Kimberly Sikule (Westerlo, N.Y./Berne-Knox-Westerlo) captured a game-high 11 rebounds.
St. Lawrence took a quick 6-0 lead and still led 11-5 with 12:32 left in the first half. Springfield then had one of its better runs of the game to take a 20-13 lead on an O’Connor lay-up with 6:38 left. But the Saints turned the tables again with a 13-0 run to take a 26-20 lead with 1:18 left. That stretch was culminated by a Curley lay-up. It was 26-22, St. Lawrence, at the half.
Springfield scored the first 12 points of the second half to take its largest lead of the game – 34-26 – with 14:54 to go. But St. Lawrence would take a 1-point lead at 48-47 with 3:27 left following a Gaetano 3-pointer. When Wolff made a short jumper with 1:28 on the clock, the Saints led by two, 51-49. McCarthy’s lay-up tied it at 51.
In the overtime, both teams managed to take two-point leads, but neither squad led by more than two. Muszynski hit a jumper with 2:05 left to put St. Lawrence up by two, 58-56. But McCarthy tied it with 1:45 left with a lay-up. Parvin made two free throws with 1:21 left to give SC a 60-58 lead, setting up the ending.