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Biondolillo's Career-Night Powers Women's Basketball Past Roger Williams, 71-45; Skidmore Defeats Western Conn, 57-47 in Game #2

Springfield/Roger Williams Box Score

Skidmore/WCSU Box Score

Game #1 -- Springfield 71, Roger Williams 45

Springfield, Mass. - January 1, 2012 - Led by Meghan Biondolillo’s career-high 27 points, the Springfield College women’s basketball team advanced past visiting Roger Williams, 71-45, in the Hampton Inn-West Springfield/Naismith Classic on Sunday evening in Blake Arena.

The win boosts the Pride’s record to 5-5 as it will next take on Skidmore on Monday at 3:30 pm in the championship game. Roger Williams drops to 4-4 and will play Western Conn in the consolation at 1:30.

Biondolillo put forth a master performance in her first start of the season, tallying 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting, including 6-of-12 from downtown. Her six three-pointers tied a women's tournament record, shared with Marymount's Loree Brandee (1/4/99) and Messiah's Melissa Ehst (1/3/02). Kelly Slattery chipped in with 11 points, while Emily Walker produced seven points and eight rebounds.

For the visiting Hawks, Kaitlyn Bovee and Alexandria Lanieri each tallied double-doubles, with Bovee posting 15 points and 11 rebounds and Lanieri notching 13 points and 10 boards.

After falling behind 5-0 early, Springfield responded with a 13-0 run, fueled by a pair of trifectas from Biondolillo to gain a 13-5 lead with 16:53 on the clock. The Pride’s lead grew to as much as 17 in the first half, as it owned a 33-16 lead at the 5:45 mark following another Biondolillo triple. A pair of free throws from Bovee got the Hawks to within 11 at 35-24, only to have the Pride score the final four points of the half to own a 39-24 lead at the break.

The Hawks showed plenty of resilience in the second half and trimmed the Pride’s lead to just five, 45-40, after a Hannah Pirez jumper with 11:39 remaining. That would be as close as Roger Williams would get as the Pride would close out the game on a 26-5 run en route to its first home victory of the season.

Game #2 -- Skidmore 57, Western Conn. 47

Springfield, Mass. -- January 1, 2011 -- Balanced scoring was the key as the Skidmore College women's basketball team defeated Western Connecticut State University, 57-47, in today's second game of the women's portion of the Hampton Inn-West Springfield/Naismith Classic at Springfield College's Blake Arena.

With the win, Skidmore is now 6-1, while Western Conn fell to 7-3.

Two players led Skidmore with 10 points each. They were Jordyn Wartts and Christina Gargiso. Right behind that duo were Megan Gaugler and Angela Botiba with nine apiece. Molly McLaughlin added seven, and Logan Frederick six.

For Western Conn, Caroline Brasa topped all scorers with 17 points. Sciarra Brandt followed with seven markers, and Stephanie Slonski added six points and a game-high 10 rebounds (all on the defensive glass).

Skidmore held the advantage on the boards, 35-32. Skidmore also had a better shooting percentage at .424 (25-of-59) to Western's .388 (19-of-49). A huge difference came in turnovers, as Western committed 28, while forcing 19.

Skidmore also produced 16 steals, including four by Gaugler.

The game was tied seven times in the first half, and neither team led by more than six points. It was 18-all with 7:24 left. With 52 seconds left in the half, McLaughlin made a lay-up to give Skidmore a one-point lead at 22-21. But a 3-pointer by Taylor Nkonoki with seven seconds gave Western a 24-22 halftime lead.

Skidmore tallied the first six points of the second half, and that seemed to provide a spark. With 18:38 left, Skidmore led, 28-24. With 13:26 left, following a jumper by McLaughlin, Skidmore led 38-31. Western twice cut it to two points -- at 38-36 with 11:50 to go, and at 40-38 with 10-14 to go. But a 3-pointer by Gaugler was followed by a bucket by Gargiso, and Skidmore again led by seven with 8:34 left. The closest Western got it the rest of the way was three, 50-47, with 4:14 remaining. But Skidmore scored the last seven points to close it out.

Skidmore will now play host Springfield at 3:30 pm in the championship game Monday. Western Conn will face Roger Williams at 1:30 in the consolation.

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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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