Springfield, Mass. -- January 2, 2010 -- Kelly Murphy scored a game-high 17 points and shot 50 percent from the floor to lead her Springfield College women's basketball team to a convincing 70-39 victory over Colby-Sawyer College in the first women's semifinal of the Hampton Inn/Naismith Classic this afternoon at the James Naismith Court at SC's Blake Arena.
With the win, the Pride is now 4-6, while Colby-Sawyer drops to 3-6. Springfield will play Western Connecticut, a 70-52 winner over Wesleyan in game #2 this afternoon, Sunday at 5:30 pm in the women's championship game. Colby-Sawyer will play Wesleyan in the consolation game tomorrow at 1 pm. For game story of game #2, please see below.
Springfield was bolstered today by the addition of three players who did not play in the first semester for a variety of reasons. They include two of last year's starters -- junior guard Rachelle Walker (Lee, Mass.) and junior forward Meaghan Macarthur (Baiting Hollow, N.Y.), although neither started today. The third newcomer was freshman forward Emily Walker (East Lyme, Conn.). All three did see action in today's game.
The Pride took a 4-0 lead on steals and lay-ups by Murphy, a sophomore guard from Mechanicville, N.Y., and by sophomore guard Andrea Butler (Cohoes, N.Y.) with 3:13 gone in the game. SC's advantage grew to 12 points following a lay-up by freshman guard Briana Freymuth (Bolton, Conn.), making it 16-4 with 11:58 left in the first half. The Pride led by as many as 15 after freshman forward Ashley Blumenthal (Bristol, Conn.) hit a short jumper to make it 29-14 with 3:27 left.
A 9-1 run by Colby-Sawyer cut the SC lead to 30-23 with 14 seconds left following two free throws by sophomore guard Maggie Rossi (Fairhaven, Conn.). But a lay-up by Murphy upped SC's halftime advantage to 32-23 with three ticks left.
The first 10 minutes of the second half saw Springfield play as well as it had all year when it scored 24 of the first 29 points of that stanza. From there, the Pride was able to put it on cruise control, leading by as many as 30 points on two occasions, including 62-32 on two free throws by Emily Walker with 7:15 remaining. SC later led by 30 at 67-37 with two minutes straight up remaining on a 3-pointer by freshman guard Colleen Dignum (Albany, N.Y.). Springfield's largest lead was the final margin of victory (31) as Emily Walker closed the scoring on a lay-up with 1:02 left.
Murphy led the Pride with her 17 points and was the game's only double-figure scorer. Macarthur followed with 8 points and 2 blocks while shooting 4-of-6 from the floor in just 9 minutes. Butler, a 5-4 guard, finished with 7 points, 4 steals, 3 assists, and a game-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore forward Kelly Slattery (Somers, Conn.) had 7 points and 6 rebounds. And junior center Amelia Sapowsky (Ware, Mass.) had 6 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Rachelle Walker finished with no points, but had two assists in her first two touches in six minutes of play overall.
For the Chargers, two players led with 8 points apiece. They were senior forward Terri Duffy (Marshfield, Mass.) and junior guard Katelyn Stravinsky (Norwell, Mass.). Duffy also had a team-high 8 rebounds. Freshman forward Sammi Lehr ((Cohasset, Mass.) finished with 7 points and 5 rebounds.
Springfield shot .463 for the game from the floor (31-of-67), while Colby-Sawyer shot just .194 (13-of-67). The Chargers were 0-for-16 from 3-point range. SC outrebounded the Chargers, 53-42.
GAME #2 Saturday -- Western Connecticut State 70, Wesleyan 52
Springfield, Mass. -- January 2, 2010 -- -- Katie Moffo scored 18 points and Heather Lee added 16 more to lead their Western Connecticut State women's basketball team to a 70-52 victory over intra-state rival Wesleyan University this afternoon in the second semifinal of the women's Hampton Inn/Naismith Classic at Springfield College's Blake Arena.
With the win, Western Connecticut is now 8-2, while Wesleyan falls to 4-4. It was the first time these two teams have met since 1993.
The Colonials never trailed, taking a 7-0 lead in the first 2:51 of the contest. Lee, a junior guard from Seymour, Conn. scored a 3-pointer one minute and 32 seconds into the game. Melissa Teel, a junior center from Hamden, Conn., then added two consecutive lay-ups, and WSCU was on its way.
The closest Wesleyan would come was 7-6 with 13:05 remaining following a lay-up by Cardinals' sophomore forward/center Eileen Gaffney (Manhasset, N.Y.).
When Moffo hit a jumper with 7:06 left in the half, WCSU had its largest lead (11) of that period at 19-8. But when sophomore guard Melanie Ferdinand (Califon, N.J.) made a lay-up with 51 seconds left, the Cardinals had closed it to six at 29-23. And that was the score at the intermission.
To start the second half, Western Connecticut outscored Wesleyan, 11-2, to take a 40-25 lead with 15:16 left. From there, the closest Wesleyan was able to come was 12 points on two occasions -- the first at 40-28 with 13:43 to go, and later at 51-39 with 8:30 to go when junior guard Erin Gold (New Hope, Pa.) hit a jumper.
When Lee hit a 3-pointer with 5:13 remaining, that culminated a 10-0 run and gave the Colonials its largest lead at 61-39. Wesleyan could not make it any closer than 15 points (65-50 with 1:24 left) the rest of the way.
Besides Moffo's 18 and Lee's 16, WCSU had two others score in double figures. They were Teel with 14 (plus a team-high 11 rebounds) and freshman guard Carly Murphy (Wolcott, Conn.) with 11.
Meanwhile, for Wesleyan, Gaffney led with 13 points (plus a game-high 14 rebounds), while Gold followed with 10. Leigh Stewart added 9 points.
Wesleyan outrebounded the Colonials, 40-33. But the Cardinals shot just 33 percent from the floor (18-for-54). WCSU shot .475 (29-of-61), and did well from beyond the arc at .381 (8-of-21). Wesleyan finished with 22 turnovers to WCSU's 15.
Western Connecticut will play host Springfield in the Hampton Inn/Naismith Classic championship game Sunday at 5:30 pm. Wesleyan will meet Colby-Sawyer earlier in the day at 1 pm in the consolation.