AMHERST, Mass. - November 30, 2007 - The Springfield College women’s basketball team topped Western New England College this evening, on the campus of Amherst College, in the opening game of the 2007 Pioneer Valley Classic. The Pride improved to 3-2 on the season with the 95-60 win, while the Golden Bears fell to 2-3.
The win also served as a milestone as it marked head coach Naomi Graves' 250th career victory at Springfield College.
Springfield jumped out to an early 11-2 lead in just five minutes of play, setting the tone for the game. The Pride advantage moved across the 20-point margin for the first time with 6:29 remaining in the half on a three pointer from senior co-captain Tara McCarthy (Bristol, R.I).
WNEC struggled shooting in the first half, and mustered just 24 points on 29% from the field, while Springfield shot 59% from the floor. The lopsided play left the Golden Bears trailing by a 47-24 margin at the break.
In the second half, WNEC turned things around and shot 45% overall, and nearly 40% from behind the arc. The Pride upped the standard once again though, and shot 69% from the field, including 62% from long distance. The blazing second half play from Springfield made it impossible for WNEC to claw back into the game.
Leading all scorers on the night was McCarthy with 20 points and seven assists. Springfield’s Christine Cotter (Stoughton, Mass.), Rachelle Walker (Lee, Mass.) and Lauren O’Connor (Valhalla, N.Y.) joined the senior leader in double digits, combining for 40 points and 12 rebounds.
WNEC was led by senior co-captain Jen Dabrowski’s (Plainville, Conn.) 18 points and three boards. The Golden Bear’s other co-captain, Tiffany DeRosa (Hamden, Conn.), was the only other WNEC player to break into double digits with 10 points and a pair of steals.
In day two play, Springfield will face Amherst tomorrow at 1 p.m., while WNEC will face Westfield State at 3 p.m. All games will take place in Amherst’s LeFrak Gymnasium.