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Women's Basketball Grinds Out 36-31 Win Over MIT

Kelly Slattery Box Score

Cambridge, Mass. - January 29, 2011 - Fueled by Kelly Slattery's 12-point, 14-rebound performance, the Springfield College women's basketball team pulled out a tough 36-31 win at MIT in a critical New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest on Saturday afternoon.

The Pride improved to 7-12 on the year and 7-5 in conference play, while the Engineers dropped to 8-10, 4-7 NEWMAC.

For Slattery, today's double-double marked her second consecutive and third in her last five contests. Kelly Murphy added eight points, while Megan Biondolillo chipped in with seven points off the bench. Andrea Butler recorded six steals and Emily Walker hauled in nine rebounds.

Rachel Hunt led MIT with nine points, five blocks, and three assists to go along with five rebounds, while Lauren Sascha Burton finished with seven points, three steals, and two assists. Anna Merrifield chipped in six points and five boards while Margo Batie registered five points and two steals.

In the low-scoring affair, the Pride held a 21-17 advantage after the first 20 minutes of play and outscored the hosts 15-14 in the second half to hang on for the win.

Springfield opened the game with 11 unanswered points and went on to create a 15-2 lead at the 11:22 mark. Sparked by a layup from Burton, MIT mounted a 15-4 run that narrowed the gap to two (19-17) with 28 seconds on the clock. Slattery responded with a layup seven seconds before the break, moving the score to 21-17.

The first five minutes of the second half were a defensive battle until a pair of free throws by Rebecca Odim and a Burton layup knotted the score at 21. After trading baskets, Biondolillo put the Pride ahead, 25-23, with two free throws midway through the frame. On its ensuing trip down the court, MIT took its first lead of the day courtesy of Batie’s three-pointer.

Springfield countered with a 10-2 spurt that spanned three minutes and resulted in a 35-28 advantage. Murphy and Biondolillo both posted a layup and three-pointer for the Pride during the run. Hunt’s three-point play trimmed the Engineers’ deficit to four (35-31) with 4:30 remaining in regulation.

Both sides were plagued with turnovers and shooting woes down the stretch. Springfield, in the midst of a seven-minute scoring drought, kept the door open late as it missed the front-ends of a one-and-one on trips to the charity stripe with 39 and 24 seconds to go. MIT, meanwhile, failed to convert its seven field goal attempts during the final minutes.

The Pride secured the win when Murphy drained her free throw with 11 seconds left to play.

The Pride look to string together its third-straight win on Wednesday evening when it travels to Worcester to clash with WPI at 7:00 pm.

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Head Coach Naomi Graves

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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