Wellesley, Mass. - January 7, 2014 - The Springfield College women's basketball team had its seven-game winning streak snapped against Wellesley on Tuesday evening after it dropped a 67-57 decision in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action.
The loss sets Springfield back to 8-4, 4-3 in conference play, while Wellesley improves to 8-2, 5-1 in league action.
After a close, hard-fought first half, Wellesley gradually built a 10-point lead in the second period with strong performances from Morgyne Weaver and Chelsi Scott. A late charge from Springfield fell short, as Wellesley hit 12 of 14 from the free-throw line in the closing minutes of the game.
Wellesley's Weaver led all players with 17 points, hitting a season high, while also adding a team-high seven rebounds to go along with three steals. Leslie Leong recorded 16 points and four boards, while Katie Shulenberger ended with nine points and six rebounds. Scott finished with 10 points, all coming in the second half, while Kendall Bianchi recorded three assists in the win.
Springfield's Heather Lewis (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) ended with with 12 points and eight boards, while Jaimie Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn.) had a 13-point effort for the Pride. Tamara Tribble (White Plains, N.Y.) picked up eight points and seven boards, while Danielle Racette (North Adams, Mass.) rounded out the Springfield stat line with seven points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals.
In a fast-paced first half with solid shooting from both teams, neither team held a lead greater than Springfield's 14-10 advantage at the 13:47 mark. With the score knotted at 26-26 with 6:28 remaining, the Pride capitalized on three Wellesley turnovers to outscore the Blue 8-5 in the closing minutes for a 34-31 halftime lead.
The Pride relied on widely distributed offense in the first period, with nine players contributing points, led by Tribble and Lewis with six points each. The Blue, meanwhile, counted on strong outside shooting, going 4-7 from beyond the arc, with Leong tallying 10 first-half points.
Springfield opened the second half with an up-tempo transition offense, grabbing the first bucket of the period for a 36-31 lead. The Blue responded with 15-6 surge, highlighted by two baskets from Weaver and a three-pointer from Alex Berman for a 46-42 lead with 12:35 remaining the game.
Wellesley kept the pressure on, pushing the lead to 52-42 with a Scott lay-up at the 7:00 mark. Springfield narrowed the advantage to seven with three straight Bickelhaupt free throws, but a Weaver trey as the shot clock expired put the score at 55-45 Wellesley with 3:20 remaining.
The Blue lead grew to an 11-point cushion with a pair of free throws from Leong with 2:05 to play, but Springfield responded with five quick points, using a strong press to shave the Blue advantage to 61-55 with 1:18 left. Lexi Windwer (Milton, Mass.) hit a key three during the run to keep the Pride alive.
Despite an aggressive charge from the Pride, Wellesley secured the 67-57 win with solid shooting from the line. Leong, Weaver, and Scott combined to go 8-8 from the charity stripe down the stretch to seal the victory.
The Pride will play another important league game on the road Thursday when it heads to take on Smith for a 7:00 pm contest.