New London, Conn. - February 9, 2011 - Abby Connors scored all 13 of her points in the second half to lead the Springfield College women's basketball team to its fifth-straight win on Wednesday evening as it bested Coast Guard, 54-46, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action in Merrimen Gym.
Springfield improved to 10-12, including a 10-5 mark in league play. The Bears dropped to 2-19 and remain winless in league play with an 0-15 record.
Kelly Murphy netted a team-high 18 points, including a 3-pointer with three minutes left that gave Springfield the lead for good, to pace the visitors in the win.
Coast Guard, looking to snap a 16-game losing streak, took a 42-40 lead on a pair of free throws by freshman Larla Brown with 4:22 left in the game before Murphy made a pair of free throws with 3:56 left to tie the game 42-42.
Murphy’s 3-pointer gave the Pride a 45-42 lead with exactly three minutes left. Coast Guard sophomore Karli Collins made a pair of free throws to make the score 45-44 with 2:30 left before Connors drilled a 3-pointer for a 48-44 edge with 2:02 left.
Collins connected for a bucket with 1:31 left to make it 48-46, and then Coast Guard got the ball back following a defensive stop. However, the Bears in turn turned the ball over with 47 seconds left.
Springfield missed the front end of a one-and-one, but sophomore Emily Walker grabbed the offensive rebound and Murphy made a pair of free throws with 30 seconds left for a 50-46 lead. Kelly Slattery was 4-for-4 from the foul line in the final 13 seconds to ice the game for the Pride, who ran their win streak to a season-best five games.
Slattery finished with 14 points while Connors had 13 in the win. Walker had a game-high ten rebounds while junior Andrea Butler had a game-high five assists for the Pride. Butler also made a big steal with 16 seconds when it was still a four-point game.
Brown led all scorers with 19 points, while freshman Kaitlin Ward added 10 points and a game-high five steals for Coast Guard. Collins finished with nine points and a team-high nine rebounds in the loss.
Springfield shot 38 percent from the field (19-50) while making six of 18 from 3-point range. Coast Guard shot 34.8 percent from the floor (16-46) and made just one of seven from behind the arc. The Bears outrebounded Springfield 34-32.
The Pride will now close out the regular season with three home conference games. On Saturday the Pride will host Clark at 1:00 pm, a game which will be held in conjunction with the WBCA "Pink Zone" initiative, which raises breast cancer awareness in women's basketball, on campuses and in communities.
(Photo by Cindi Williamson of Fat Dog Fotos)