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Women's Basketball Plays Well For a Half, but Falls to No. 5-Ranked Babson, 66-45

Abby Connors Box Score

Springfield, Mass. -- January 22, 2011 -- The Springfield College women's basketball team played very well for a half, but ultimately lost to No. 5-ranked Babson College behind Nicole Wurdeman's 28 points and 16 rebounds this afternoon in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference game at SC's Blake Arena.

With the win, Babson remains undefeated, upping its overall record to 16-0, and 10-0 in the conference. Springfield now falls to 5-12 overall, and 5-5 in the NEWMAC. Babson has now run its streak to 35 straight wins in league play. The Pride has lost three straight.

At the half, it was Springfield leading the Beavers, 25-19. Springfield took a 4-0 lead and never trailed in the first half, although there were two ties. From an SC point of view, team defense was the key. The Pride held Babson to a .296 shooting percentage from the field, while shooting .360 on its own in that first stanza.

Senior guard Abby Connors (Douglas, Mass.) was the leading scorer for SC at the half with nine points. Junior guard Kelly Murphy (Mechanicville, N.Y.) and sophomore guard Colleen Dignum (Albany, N.Y.) each had five for the Pride.

Wurdeman, a junior center/forward from Rowley, Mass., led Babson with seven points at that point, followed by junior forward Kathleen King (Framingham, Mass.) with five.

But, as good as the Springfield defense was in the first half, the Babson defense was every bit as good and better in the second half. The key stretch was a 10 minute three second span in which Springfield was held without a field goal. The Pride was held scoreless for 9:11 of that same stretch. During that 9:11 stretch, Springfield saw a 30-28 lead evaporate to a 43-30 deficit. SC trailed 47-31 when it next scored a field goal with 6:27 left.

Wurdeman was the catalyst for the Beavers in that second half, scoring 21 of her 28 points. Overall, King scored 14 points and added six rebounds, while sophomore center/forward Sarah Collins (Weymouth, Mass.) tallied 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Senior forward Damisi Adewumi (Bronx, N.Y.) scored seven points.

For Springfield, two players scored in double figures. They were Murphy with 16 points, and Connors with 15. Dignum and junior guard Andrea Butler (Cohoes, NY.) had five points apiece.

Second half stats alone were heavily in favor of Babson. It outrebounded SC, 30-13. It forced 10 SC turnovers, while committing only eight. It shot .483 from the floor, while allowing the Pride to shoot just .226.

Overall, Babson outrebounded Springfield, 47-34. The Beavers shot .393 from the floor (22-of-56), while Springfield shot .286 (16-of-56). SC made 5-of-26 from 3-point range (.192). SC turned it over 23 times to Babson's 19.

Wurdeman also contributed four steals, three blocks, and one assist. She made 9-of-10 free throws. Seven of her 16 rebounds were off the offensive glass.

Sophomore forward Emily Walker (East Lyme, Conn.) led SC with seven rebounds.

Up next, Springfield hosts Mount Holyoke Wednesday (Jan. 26) at 7 pm.

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Naomi Graves Entering her 23rd season as head coach in 2013-14, Naomi Graves has directed her squads to an impressive 323-261 record (.553 winning percentage). Since joining the Division III ranks in 1995, Graves has led the Pride to 12 post-season bids in the past 18 years, including five berths in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Read more.

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