Springfield, Mass. -- February 7, 2009 -- Kathleen King and Nicole Wurdeman each scored 17 points to lead the Babson College women's basketball team to a 47-46 victory over Springfield College in an important New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference game this afternoon at the Pride's Blake Arena. With the win, Babson is now 14-7 overall, 7-2 in the NEWMAC, while Springfield is now 12-9 overall, and also 7-2 in the conference.
The game was not decided until Springfield missed a tough lay-up attempt with three seconds left and a follow-up short shot with one second left that bounced all around the rim and fell out that could have won it for the Pride. Springfield had found itself down by as many as 11 points in the second half (with 15:56 to go) in this game where points were hard to come by.
King, a freshman forward from Framingham, Mass., and Wurdeman, a freshman forward from Rowley, Mass., led the Beavers with 17 points apiece. Each scored 10 in the second half, which were 20 of the team's 22 points in that half. King pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Beyond that, sophomore guard Becky Bowman (Melrose, Mass.) added 6 points for Babson.
For Springfield, senior forward Corey Finch (Hanover, Pa.) was the only player to reach double figures with 10 points. She also had 9 rebounds. Freshman guard Kelly Murphy (Mechanicville, N.Y.) scored 9 points, adding 2 assists, and 1 steal. Senior center Lauren O'Connor (Valhalla, N.Y.) scored 7 points and added 9 rebounds. Sophomore guard Abby Connors (Douglas, Mass.) also added 7 points.
In the first half, it was Springfield that jumped out well. After Babson scored the game's first hoop, the Pride went on a 9-1 run, capped by a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Rachelle Walker (Lee, Mass.), making it 9-3 with 15:30 remaining. When Finch made a lay-up with 9:50 left, Springfield led 15-9.
But that is when the Beavers began to make their move, outscoring Springfield 16-7 for the remainder of the period. At the half, King and Wurdeman each scored 7 points to lead their Babson squad. For Springfield, Finch led with 6 points and 8 rebounds. O'Connor added 5 points and 4 rebounds.
Neither team shot well in that half from the floor or from 3-point range -- Babson .333 (10-30) and .000 (0-4), Springfield .257 (9-for-35) and .100 (1-10). The Beavers outrebounded SC in that half, 26-21.
In the second half, Springfield scored the first basket on a lay-up by Finch to cut the margin to one, 25-24, with 19:01 remaining. But in the next 3:05, Babson outscored the Pride, 10-0, for the game's most significant momentum swing. Wurdeman had 6 points and King 4 points in that swing. And with 15:56 left, Babson took command by 11 at 35-24.
From there, it was a game-long battle for Springfield to close the gap. The Pride would cut it to one on two occasions -- the first on a free throw by Murphy with 7:55 left, making it 41-40, and the second on two free throws with 28 seconds left by O'Connor, making it 47-46.
Babson then turned it over with 18 seconds left, and Springfield called a time-out. After the ball was inbounded, Murphy found the ball in her hands with about 7 seconds left on the right baseline. She drove to the hoop, missing the difficult lay-up attempt. But freshman forward Cherelle Allen (New Britain, Conn.) followed that with a rebound and a lay-up attempt that found a lot of the rim, but fell off. A final free throw by Babson missed, but that came with only 6/10ths of a second remaining. O'Connor could do nothing more than corral the rebound when the horn sounded.
Springfield next hosts Mount Holyoke Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 pm in Blake Arena. Babson will host MIT that same evening at 6:00 pm.