The Springfield College women's basketball team finished up the regular season on Saturday against Clark University and prevailed, 68-58, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest.
The win puts the Pride's record at 16-9, 12-4 in conference action while the Cougars fall to 11-14, 7-9 in the NEWMAC. Head coach Naomi Graves became the 36th coach in the history of Division III women's basketball to reach the 500 career win milestone on Saturday.
Gracie Restituyo (Barrington, R.I.) hauled in a game-high 17 rebounds to go along with 11 points for Springfield, while Alex Goslin (South Windsor, Conn.) delivered 13 points, six assists, and five steals to power the Pride to the win. It was a balanced offense attack for Springfield, which shot 23-for-57 (40%), as 10 different players scored, including seven with at least six points. The Pride turned 19 Clark turnovers into 24 points.
For Clark, Hannah Favaloro netted a game-high 21 points and pulled down a team-best 15 boards and teammate Ogechi Ezemma added a double-double of her own with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Cougars made the most of Springfield being whistled for 23 fouls as the visitors went 24-for-35 from the charity stripe.
The Pride spread the wealth in the first 10 minutes of play as they were able to get eight players in the scoring column. After a back and forth first four minutes of action left the Pride trailing 9-5, Springfield would produce 9-2 run over the next four minutes. A pair of baskets from Chelsea McAllister (Baltimore, Vt.) allowed the the Pride to take a 14-11 lead with just 2:37 left in the first quarter of action, and after a pair of free throws and a jumper by Ezemma tied the game at 15, a two sets of free throws from Grace Dzindolet (Holliston, Mass.)allowed Springfield to end the quarter with a 19-18 lead.
Springfield was able to add to its lead in the second quarter with stellar three-point shooting by the Pride. A bucket from Restituyo got the Pride started on a six-point burst to extend the lead to 25-18, but after a pair of free throws and a layup by the Cougars offense, Springfield took over the quarter. Two free throws by Dzindolet and back-to-back triples from McAllister and Lauren Rudolph (Franklin, Mass.) ended the first half with the score 35-25 in favor of the Pride.
Coming out of the break, Springfield would pick up right where it left off as Emily Jacques (Auburn, Maine.) would hit a mid range jumper and a free throw before Resitiuyo would collect four straight points and boost the Pride's lead to 42-29 just 2:11 into the second half. After trading baskets with the Cougars, Jacques would nail a long three to get the Pride started on a 7-2 run. Late quarter scoring from Ezemma and Elyssa Jackson for Clark would bring the quarter to an end with the Pride up 54-46.
Clark would get as close as 54-48 in the opening minute of the fourth, but Springfield would put together a strong defensive showing in the stanza, limiting the Cougars to shooting just 2-of-11. A fast-break bucket from Goslin with 5:27 left in regulation pushed the hosts advantage back to 62-50, and the Pride would cruise to the 68-58 triumph.