BABSON PARK, Mass. – Senior Caitlin Fenn (Niantic, Conn.) hit the game-tying lay-up with 7.6 seconds left in regulation and classmate Linsey Poulson (Leominster, Mass.) hit the eventual game-winning shot with 22.1 seconds remaining in overtime as the host Babson College Beavers held on for a thrilling 69-64 victory over visiting Springfield College in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest on Saturday afternoon. The game also featured a celebration of the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association’s “Think Pink” program – a nationwide initiative to help increase breast cancer awareness.
Poulson was magnificent in the win for Babson (10-11, 5-4 NEWMAC), as she finished with 22 points and a game-high 16 rebounds while shooting 7-for-10 from the field and 8-8 from the line. Senior co-captains Nicole McManus (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) also posted a double-double for the Beavers, finishing with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocked shots, while fellow senior co-captain Caitlin Boulier (Wolcott, Conn.) added 12 points, three assists, and two steals, including a critical theft that gave Babson the ball back with 8.4 seconds left in overtime.
Springfield (11-9, 6-3 NEWMAC) was paced by senior co-captain Christine Cotter (Stoughton, Mass.), who led all players with a season-high and career-high-tying 26 points and five steals. Junior Corey Finch (Hanover, Pa.) also had a big game for the Pride, recording 10 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks, and senior co-captain Tara McCarthy (Bristol, R.I.) chipped in with 11 points in defeat.
Babson led by as many as eight on two occasions in the first half, but Springfield used a late 8-0 run to take its first lead of the game at 25-24 with 1:23 remaining. Boulier then knocked down a jumper with 49 seconds remaining to give the hosts a slim 26-25 edge heading into the break.
Both teams would threaten to pull away in the second stanza, beginning when a jumper by Poulson that gave Babson a 39-32 lead just five minutes in. Cotter then exploded for 10 straight points as part of a 13-2 Springfield run that put the Pride in front, 45-41, with 10:41 left to play. The visitors later went up by seven on two occasions – once on a three-pointer by Cotter with 3:52 left and again on a bucket by first-year Rachelle Walker (Lee, Mass.) with 2:31 remaining.
Playing in her first game back from injury, first-year Kristy Benoit (Shrewsbury, Mass.) hit a lay-up at the two-minute mark to cut Babson’s deficit to five, and Poulson scored off an offensive rebound and put-back to make it a three-point game, 59-56, with 56 seconds to go. After a missed three-pointer by Springfield, Benoit drew a foul and hit the second of two free throws to make it a 59-57 game with 14.6 seconds on the clock, and the Beavers caught a huge break moments later when a violation on the ensuing inbound pass gave them the ball back. Babson then got the ball to Fenn, who drove the right side of the lane and hit the game-tying lay-up in traffic with 7.6 seconds remaining in regulation. Springfield had one more chance to claim the win, but Finch’s desperation three from the right hash mark just missed off the back rim as the buzzer sounded, sending the contest into overtime.
The two squads continued to battle back and forth in the extra session, with Poulson hitting two free throws to put Babson up, 63-62, with 2:43 left. Both teams came up empty on their next three possessions, with Springfield finally moving back in front, 64-63, on a steal and lay-up by Cotter with 42.5 seconds to go. The Beavers then pounded the ball inside to Poulson, who hit a turnaround jumper in the lane to give Babson the lead for good, 65-64, with 22.1 seconds to play.
After calling a timeout, Springfield still had a chance to retake the lead when Boulier came up with a huge steal at the foul line and drew an immediate foul with 8.4 seconds left. The Beavers’ senior co-captain then sank both freebies to give her team a 67-64 lead, and, after a missed three-pointer by the Pride, McManus drew a foul and hit two more free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining to seal the 69-64 Babson victory.
Springfield College vs Babson College
2/9/08 2:00 PM at Babson Park, MA
At Babson Park, MA
BABSON COLLEGE 69, SPRINGFIELD COLLEGE 64
SPRINGFIELD COLLEGE (11-9, 6-3 NEWMAC)
Christine Cotter 9-19 4-10 26; Tara McCarthy 4-10 2-3 11; Corey Finch 5-15 0-0 10; Liz Brosseau 3-8 0-0 6; Rachelle Walker 2-10 1-2 6; Annie Lasek 1-1 0-0 2; Abby Connors 1-3 0-0 2; Lauren O'Connor 0-1 1-2 1; Meaghan Macarthur 0-1 0-0 0; Kate LaBelle 0-1 0-0 0; Lauren Murray 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-69 8-17 64.
BABSON COLLEGE (10-11, 5-4 NEWMAC)
Linsey Poulson 7-10 8-8 22; Caitlin Boulier 5-15 2-2 12; Nicole McManus 3-4 4-4 10; Caitlin Fenn 4-18 0-0 9; Jill Walsh 1-3 2-2 4; Leigh Myer 1-4 2-2 4; Tracy Ericson 1-2 0-0 3; Kristy Benoit 1-1 1-2 3; Sarah Hughes 1-3 0-0 2; Rebecca Bowman 0-3 0-0 0; Jillian Brooks 0-3 0-0 0; Becky Pelletier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-66 19-20 69.
Springfield College........... 25 34 5 - 64
Babson College................ 26 33 10 - 69
3-point goals--Springfield College 6-24 (Christine Cotter 4-8; Rachelle Walker 1-7; Tara McCarthy 1-6; Abby Connors 0-2; Corey Finch 0-1), Babson College 2-13 (Caitlin Fenn 1-4; Tracy Ericson 1-1; Caitlin Boulier 0-8). Fouled out--Springfield College-None, Babson College-None. Rebounds--Springfield College 36 (Corey Finch 12), Babson College 53 (Linsey Poulson 16). Assists--Springfield College 15 (Rachelle Walker 4), Babson College 13 (Linsey Poulson 3; Caitlin Boulier 3). Total fouls—Springfield College 16, Babson College 16. Technical fouls--Springfield College-None, Babson College-None. A-150