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Women's Basketball Claims Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic Title With 61-60 Win Over Colby

Springfield, Mass. - December 31, 2017 - With under 10 seconds to play, sophomore point guard Alex Goslin (South Windsor, Conn.) drove the lane and drew a foul, which resulted in a pair of free throws in which she converted, lifting the Springfield College women's basketball team to a 61-60 win over Colby and a Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic title on Sunday afternoon in Blake Arena.

For her efforts, Goslin was named the Tournament's Most Valuable Player, while junior forward Gracie Restituyo (Barrington, R.I.) joined Goslin on the All-Tournament Team. This marked the 23rd-straight season that the Pride has hosted the Naismith Classic, and the ninth-consecutive year that the Hampton Inn West Springfield has served as the official sponsor.

The Pride has now won its last seven contests to improve to 9-2 overall, while the Mules fall to 5-4 on the year. The maroon and white's 9-2 start to the season marks the best since the 2000-01 season, when the Pride began the year with a record of 10-2. Springfield College was 25-of-72 (34.7%) from the field in the victory, while Colby was 23-of-52 (44.2%) shooting in the setback. The Pride also owned a 47-32 advantage on the glass in the victory.

All five of the Pride's starters reached double digits in the scoring column as Heather King (Lebanon, N.H.) led with 16 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists, while Chelsea McAllister (Baltimore, Vt.) finished with 12 points and five boards. Sophomore guard Emily Jacques (Auburn, Maine) notched 10 points and seven rebounds, while Goslin finished with 11 points and six assists in the win.

Springfield College jumped out to an early 6-3 lead following a lay-up from King, before a basket from Jacques at the 5:48 mark made it 8-3, Pride. With 3:20 left in the first stanza, Jacques continued to produce offensively, as a three-pointer gave the Pride a 15-6 lead, forcing a timeout from the Mules. Back-to-back three pointers from Colby made it a three-point game with 1:37 on the clock, before Taylor Hall (Tolland, Conn.) answered with an offensive board and putback lay-up to make it 17-12, Springfield College, a lead it would carry with them to the second quarter.

Just 2:01 into the second, a free throw from Restituyo gave the Pride a 20-14 advantage, before a 5-0 run, capped by a lay-up from Haley Driscoll (Bedford, N.H.) to make it a one-point game, before the Pride answered with a basket from McAllister to push Springfield College's lead back to three. Colby took its first lead of the game on a pair of free throws from Paige Russell (Alexandria, Va.), before extending its lead to four on a three-pointer from Sarah Hancock (Casco, Maine) with 4:47 on the clock. A three-pointer from Goslin with 3:14 to play in the half gave the Pride back a one-point, 27-26, lead, as King pushed the Pride's lead back to three with a tough finish under the basket to make it 30-26, Springfield College. Restituyo converted another basket with under a minute to play in the half, giving the Pride a 34-28 advantage, a lead it would carry into the halftime break.

A basket from Goslin, followed by a great steal from Jacques and finish from Chelsea McAllister (Baltimore, Vt.) gave the Pride a 42-32 lead just 3:23 into the second half, before a 7-0 run brought the Mules back to with three, making it 42-39, Springfield College, at the 5:02 mark. A 5-0 spurt late in the frame, including three points from Jacques, gave the Pride a 50-41 lead, as King finished off a pass from McAllister, giving the hosts a double-digit, 52-41 lead at the end of three.

After a good jumper from King gave the Pride an 11-point lead with 7:31 to play before the Mules pulled to within five on a three-pointer from McCrum with 5:19 on the clock, making it 59-54 in the Pride's favor. Colby pulled to within one with 2:21 on the clock as Driscoll converted a tough lay-up, before the visitors took a 60-59 lead with 17 seconds remaining on a pull-up jumper from Russell. After drawing a foul on a late drive, Goslin would knock down two from the free-throw line to lift the Pride to the 61-60 victory.

Up next, Springfield College will return to New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play as the Pride will travel to WPI on Wednesday, January 3 at 5:30 p.m. 

Babson 75, MCLA 51 -- Consolation Game

The Babson College women's basketball team used a strong second-half performance to pull away from MCLA in the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic on Sunday afternoon in Springfield College's Blake Arena, resulting in a 75-51 victory for the Beavers.

The win boosted Babson's record to 7-4, while the Trailblazers dropped to 4-6 on the year.

Payton Quimette (Medfield, Mass.) led the way for Babson with an impressive performance, turning in 19 points and 17 boards, including 11 on the offensive glass.  Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) netted 12 off the bench, while both Katie Jones (Ridgewood, N.J.) and Tea Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) scored 11 points apiece.  Babson dominated the boards, holding a 55-27 edge on the glass, and had 32 offensive rebounds in the game, which resulted in 28 second-chance points.  Additionally, Babson turned 27 MCLA turnovers into 38 points, with Bianca Tomassini (North Branford, Conn.) registering a game-high five steals. 

For MCLA, four players scored in double figured, with Emily Moulton (North Adams, Mass.) and Country Pingelski (Mechanicville, N.Y.) each scoring a team-best 12 points.  McKenzie Robinson (Adams, Mass.) and Samantha Gawron (South Hadley, Mass.) added 10 points apiece as the Trailblazers finished the game shooting 41% (19-for-46) from the field.

Babson led by four on five different occasions in the opening quarter, the last coming at 17-13 when Nicole Hiller (Rocky Hill, Conn.) drilled a triple from the right wing with 2:05 on the clock.  However, the Trailblazers, which finished the first quarter shooting nearly 60% from the field, scored the final five-points of the quarter, using a Robinson trifecta in the last 20 seconds to take their first lead of the game.

The Beavers regained a 22-20 advantage after Ouimette hauled in another offensive board and scored on the putback with 5:13 remaining.  The teams would then go over four minutes without a score, and after combining for just seven minutes through the first nine minutes, would produce eight in the final 59 seconds to make it a 25-all contest heading into the break.  

Babson opened up the second half with back-to-back three-pointers to extend a 31-26 cushion.  After the Trailblazers drew within 35-34 on a pullup by Robinson at the 6:31 mark, the Beavers broke open up the game with a 21-3 run over the next 4:39 to earn a 19-point edge.   Babson, which scored 25 points in the first half, erupted for 31 in the third quarter, with Ouimette and Tamulionis combining for 21.

MCLA would get as close as 13 following a three pointer by Pingelski just under two minutes into the fourth, but Babson would wear down the Trailblazers and pull away with a 75-51 victory.  For their efforts during the weekend, Babson's Ouimette and MCLA's Robinson were named to the All-Tournament Team.

All Tournament Team
Payton Ouimette - Babson
Mckenzie Robinson - MCLA
Katie McCrum - Colby
Haley Driscoll - Colby
Gracie Restituyo - Springfield College
Alex Goslin - Springfield College (Tournament MVP)