Springfield, Mass. -- February 16, 2011 -- Despite a 20-point effort from Pride junior Kelly Slattery, it was the Smith College women's basketball team defeating Springfield College, 46-35, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference contest this evening at SC's Blake Arena. The loss halts a six-game winning streak for Springfield.
The Pride is now 11-13 overall, 11-6 in league play. The Pioneers improve to 14-9, 11-6. Each team is tied for third in the league standings, although Smith now enjoys an edge because it has beaten Springfield twice.
Slattery, a forward from Somers, Conn., was the only SC player to reach double figures. She finished with 20 points, four rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Junior guard Kelly Murphy (Mechanicville, N.Y.) was next in line for the Pride with six points. The SC bench contributed no points on the evening. Sophomore center Emily Walker (East Lyme, Conn.) produced a game-high 15 rebounds.
As for Smith, sophomore guard Devon Quattrocchi (Brewster, N.Y.) and sophomore guard Lizzy BelBruno (Hanover, N.H.) each contributed 12 points. Junior forward Ashani Petrizzi (Deerfield, Mass.) added nine points. She also had a team-high nine rebounds.
After a back-and-forth start, the Pioneers seized control of the opening half as they opened up a 21-7 lead at the 5:21 mark after freshman guard Mariza Munoz-Ruiz (Fairfield, Calif.) beat the shot clock with a jumper in the paint. However, despite their shooting woes, Springfield mounted a 9-2 run over the remainder of the half to make it a 23-16 contest after 20 minutes of play. Slattery tallied six points in the burst for the Pride.
In the second half, Smith took leads of nine points twice early on -- 25-16 and 27-18, the latter with 17:59 remaining. But SC then put on its best run of the night, outscoring the Pioneers 14-4 over the next 9 1/2 minutes. When Murphy made the second of two free throws with 8:27 left, SC took its one and only lead of the entire night at 32-31. SC, however, was destined to score only three more points, all from the free throw line. A lay-up by Emily Walker with 11:31 left proved to be SC's last field goal. A free throw by Walker with 3:48 left was SC's last point of the night, and that made it Smith 40, SC 35 at the time.
It was a lay-up by Petrizzi with 8:05 left that gave Smith a 33-32 lead, a lead it would never relinquish.
After all was said and done, both teams shot very poorly for the game. In a winning effort, Smith shot .262 from the floor (16-of-61), while SC shot .222 (12-of-54). From 3-point range, SC made just 2-of-19 (.105), while Smith made 2-of-9 (.222). In the last game SC played, it made 12-of-22 from beyond the arc (.545). The Pioneers outrebounded the Pride, 53-37, in a game where there were many rebounds to be had.
Springfield committed 18 turnovers, including 11 in the opening half, while Smith committed 19 turnovers. Senior guard Abby Connors (Douglas, Mass.) of SC had a game-high four assists.
The Pride will play its final regular season game on Saturday afternoon when it hosts Wellesley at 1:00 pm.
(Photo by Cindi Williamson of Fat Dog Fotos)