Springfield, Mass. - February 19, 2019 - The Springfield College women's basketball powered past Clark University, 66-44, in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship Tournament Quarterfinals on Tuesday night in Blake Arena.
Springfield, which is seeded third in the tournament, improved to 17-9 and will travel to face No. 2 Smith on Thursday at 7 pm. The Cougars season comes to a close with an 11-15 record.
In helping the Pride reach the conference semifinals for the first time since 2016, Alex Goslin (South Windsor, Conn.) put together a remarkable performance, delivering 18 points and a career-high 10 boards, to go along with six steals and four assists to lead four players in double-figure scoring. Both Taylor Hall (Tolland, Conn.) and Emily Jacques (Auburn, Maine) netted 11 points, with Jacques adding 11 boards, while Chelsea McAllister (Baltimore, Vt.) notched 10 points. Gracie Restituyo (Barrington, R.I.) led all players with 13 rebounds in a game where Springfield owned a 54-32 edge on the glass, including 20 offensive caroms. The Pride shot 26-for-66 (39%) and outscored the visitors, 28-12, in the paint.
For Clark, Ogechi Ezemma totaled 15 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, three steals, and three assists, and Maya Kerstetter chipped in 13 points. Clark managed to shoot just 15-for-58 (26%).
Springfield jumped out to an 11-2 lead after Goslin snagged a rebound and went coast-to-coast for an athletic finish with 2:30 left in the first quarter. The Cougars, who started the game making just one of their first 12 field goal attempts, broke an eight-plus minute scoreless drought with a triple from Virginia Bendow at the 1:06 mark. Springfield would own a 12-5 lead after 10 minutes of play as they outscored the visitors, 8-2 in the paint.
A corner triple from McAllister pushed the Pride's advantage to 22-8 with 5:45 to play, and after Ezemma answered with an inside finish, Springfield closed out the half on a 10-0 burst, as four different players scored to pace the Pride's attack. Clark had seven turnovers in the stanza, which resulted in 12 points for the hosts. Heading into the break with a 32-10 lead, the Pride outrebounded Clark, 31-17 in the half.
Clark opened up the second half on a 16-6 run, as another triple from Bendow pulled the visitors within 37-26 with 3:45 on the clock. However, over the next 2:15, Springfield would respond with a 8-1 push of their own, capped off by a jumper by Goslin to help their lead balloon back to 45-27. In a quarter where Clark would outscore the Pride 20-17, Springfield used a jumper by Jacques in the waning seconds to close out the stanza with a 49-30 lead.
When Restituyo hit a pair from the charity stripe to extend the lead to 21 points just nine seconds into the quarter, Clark would make one final push, as an 8-1 run over a 3:44 span pulled the visitors within 51-38 with 6:31 left in regulation. Thanks to the play of Goslin, Springfield sealed the game with a 9-0 surge in the next two-plus minutes as the junior guard netted five points, and made a pair of steals to help Springfield regain a 24-point cushion, 62-38. The Pride would coast from there, completing the 66-44 quarterfinal win with a Goslin jumper in the paint with 25 seconds to play.
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