Springfield, Mass. - November 15, 2016 - Nineteen points apiece from sophomore guard Chelsea McAllister (Baltimore, Vt.) and senior center Ava Adamopoulos (Ludlow, Mass) lifted the Springfield College women's basketball program to a season-opening 83-75 double-overtime victory over Western New England on Tuesday night.
With the win, Springfield College is off to a 1-0 start, as the Golden Bears, also competing for the first time in 2016, fall to 0-1 overall. The Pride shot 23-for-70 (32.9%) from the floor in the win, while Western New England was 24-of-66 (36.4%) on the evening. The Pride also outrebounded its cross-town rival 56-39 over 50 minutes of play. Springfield College's bench was effective in the contest, as the Pride posted 45 points to the Golden Bears' 15.
Scoring just one point in the first half, McAllister was on fire in the second, as she netted a career-best 19 points, including five three pointers, four of which were in the third quarter. Adamompoulos posted her ninth-career double double, as in addition to her 19 points, the senior also posted 11 rebounds and five assists. Senior guard Molly McCausland (Millbury, Mass.) also reached double figures, as she posted 11 points and five rebounds, as junior forward Heather King (Lebanon, N.H.) also notched eight points to go along with 10 rebounds.
For the Golden Bears, Paige Young (Berlin, Conn.) was 7-for-8 from the field, netted 18 and registered eight boards, while Emily Anderson (Rocky Hill, Conn.) scored 16 on the night. Dorothy O'Neill (Staten Island, N.Y.) dropped 14 points and also dished out a team-high five assists in the setback.
A three-pointer from McCausland just 24 seconds into the contest got Springfield College off to a quick start, as Springfield College used a free throw from Taylor Hall (Tolland, Conn.) and back-to-back baskets from King to take an 8-3 lead midway through the first quarter. After a three-pointer from Anderson capped a 5-0 run for the Golden Bears to even the score at eight, the Pride responded with five unanswered points of its own, capped by a free throw from McAllister to take a 13-8 lead at the end of one.
After a basket from Young to kick off the second, Hall buried a pair more from the free-throw line, before McCausland drained another three the put the Pride up 18-10, just 1:14 into the frame. Young followed a Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) with three consecutive points to narrow Western New England's gap to two, but back-to-back triples from McCausland and Lexi Windwer (Milton, Mass.) made it 26-21 with 3:40 to play in the half. Springfield College held a two-point lead in the final minute of the second half, but a late three-pointer from O'Neill gave the Golden Bears a 29-28 lead at the break.
Western New England stretched its lead to nine in the first 4:20 of the third quarter before McAllister ended the run with a three-pointer. On the Pride's next possession, the sophomore drilled another from behind the arc to pull the Pride within five, as a pair of free-throws from Adamopoulos and another three pointer from McAllister would pull Springfield College even at 41 apiece with 3:25 to play in the period. Tied at 44 in the late seconds of the third, Orbann converted a lay-up to give the Golden Bears a 46-44 lead heading into the fourth.
With under a minute to play in the contest, the Golden Bears took a 60-56 lead when O'Neill knocked down a pair of free-throws, but five points in 18 seconds from McAllister gave the Pride a 61-60 lead with 27 seconds to play. Young was able to convert a last-second free throw to end regulation at 61-61 sending the game into overtime.
Head coach Naomi Graves subbed in four players for the entire first overtime period, and the group was able to give the Pride a 67-63 lead following a pair of free throws from Adamopoulos but a free throw from Obrann and a three-point play from Young made it 67-67 and forced a second overtime period. Adamopoulos, McCausland, and Alex Goslin (South Windsor, Conn.) combined for six unanswered points for the Pride, before Danielle Racette (North Adams, Mass.) was able to push Springfield College's lead to eight with a pair of free throws. Racette was able to convert four more free-throws to help the Pride seal the eight-point win.
Springfield College will return to action on Tuesday, November 22 when it will travel to Williams College for a 5 p.m. tip.