Worcester, Mass. - November 26, 2016 - The Springfield College women's basketball team suffered a 57-47 setback to Johnson and Wales University, playing in the opening night of the WPI Thanksgiving Tournament, hosted in Harrington Auditorium on the campus of WPI.
The Pride fall to 1-2 on the year, while Johnson & Wales, which was an NCAA Championship Tournament team going 24-4 a season ago, improves to 3-1 with the narrow win over Springfield College.
The Wildcats shot 22-for-64 (34.4%) from the field, while the Pride was just 17-of-55 (30.9%) from the field in the defeat. For the third time this season, Springfield College outrebounded its opponent, as the Pride posted 45 in Saturday's contest. The Maroon and White also held a 33-3 advantage in bench points.
For the Pride, senior center Ava Adamopoulos (Ludlow, Mass.) posted her second double double of the year, registering 13 points to go along with 14 rebounds, while sophomore guard Chelsea McAllister (Baltimore, Vt.) notched nine points and three boards in the loss.
For Johnson & Wales, junior center Ashley Thompson (Bellingham, Mass.) was dominant as she posted 30 points and 12 rebounds, while Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, R.I.) chipped in with 12 points, five assists and three boards.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, as it took a 7-2 lead just 4:25 into the contest, before Springfield College came storming back with seven unanswered points, capped by a pair of free throws from first-year guard Alex Goslin (South Windsor, Conn.). Johnson would even the game at nine, before Adamopoulos responded with a lay-up of her own, but Johnson & Wales would score the last five points of the stanza to take a 14-11 lead at the end of one.
The Wildcats pushed their lead to seven after four-consecutive points from Thompson, but once again, the Pride pulled to within a pair following a three-pointer from McAllister and a basket from Gracie Restituyo (Jersey City, N.J.) to make it 18-16, with 7:35 to play in the half.
Johnson & Wales would then go on a 9-2 run over the next 2:38 to push its lead to nine, before Rachel Menze (West Haven, Conn.) converted a three-point play to make it a five-point game with 3:04 on the clock. Thompson would make a jumper, and Taylor Hall (Tolland, Conn.) would cash in a free throw to make it 29-23, Wildcats, at the break.
A knockdown jumper from Hall with 6:11 to play in the third quarter made it a six-point game, with the Wildcats leading 36-30, but Johnson & Wales would push its lead back to eight on a lay-up from Ally Moshol (Longmeadow, Mass.) with 5:46 to play in the period. The Wildcats would be able to hang on to its eight-point lead for the remainder of the quarter, leading 45-37 heading into the fourth.
Midway through the final quarter, a pair of free-throws from Goslin, followed by a lay-in from McAllister made it a four-point game, before the Wildcats responded with six-consecutive points to make it 53-43 with 2:04 to play. After back-to-back baskets from Adamopoulos cut the Pride's deficit to six, Johnson & Wales would close out with the 10-point win.
Up next, Springfield College will take on RPI in the second day of the WPI Thanksgiving Tournament on Sunday, November 27 at 2 p.m.