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Women's Basketball Falls to Vassar, 64-60, in Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic Championship

Women's Basketball Falls to Vassar, 64-60, in Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic Championship

Springfield, Mass. - January 1, 2019 - The Springfield College women's basketball team fell to Vassar College, 64-60, in the Championship game of the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic, which was hosted in Blake Arena on Monday and Tuesday afternoon. With the loss, the Pride is now 7-5 on the year, while the Brewers improve to 8-2. This marked the 24th-consecutive year that Springfield College hosted the Naismith Classic, as Hampton Inn West Springfield has been the official sponsor of the tournament for the last 10 seasons.

For their efforts, junior guard Emily Jacques (Auburn, Maine) and freshman forward Bridget Reddington (Portland, Conn.) were named to the All-Tournament Team. Jacques posted a career-high 19 points in the Pride's win over Bates on Saturday, before notching her second-career double double on Tuesday, which consisted of 16 points and 12 rebounds, which matched her career best. Reddington was effective on Tuesday, as she posted 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench, despite the loss.

Against the Brewers, Springfield College was just 22-for-59 (37.3%) from the field, as it also received contributions from Gracie Restituyo (Barrington, R.I.), who had 10 points, while Grace Dzindolet (Holliston, Mass.) had seven points, two boards, one assist and one steal over 12 minutes of play. Vassar, which was 21-for-55 (38.2%) in the win, was led by tournament Most Valuable Player Jackie Cenan (Laguna Beach, Calif.), who finished with 22 points and eight rebounds. Sophie Nick, who was also named to the All-Tournament team, had 14 points and seven boards in the win for the Brewers.

Vassar held a slight 41-37 edge on the glass over 40 minutes of play, while the Pride owned a 32-20 scoring margin in the paint. 

Vassar jumped out to an early 9-0 lead over the first 2:07 of the contest as Nick hit a pair of free-throws at the 7:53 mark, before Restituyo stopped the run after converting a top-down feed from Taylor Hall (Tolland, Conn.) with 6:52 to play in the first quarter. With 5:55 remaining, Reddington converted a three-point play to cut the Pride's deficit to six, but the Brewers responded with a 6-0 run to take a 17-5 lead over the Pride. Chelsea McAllister (Baltimore, Vt.) ended the run with a triple from the wing to make it a nine-point game, before the senior canned a pair of free-throws to make it 17-10, Vassar, with 3:03 left in the quarter. Another three-point play from Reddington and a free throw from Dzindolet made it a five-point game, before Jacques knocked down a deep jumper to make it 19-16, Brewers, with under a minute to play. As time expired on the clock, Dzindolet would hit a floater in the lane to pull the Pride to within one, as the maroon and white ended the frame on a 13-2 run to make it 19-18, Vassar, after 10 minutes of play.

Springfield College kept rolling in the second quarter as Jacques opened the frame with another jumper, before Reddington notched consecutive baskets to push the Pride's lead to five, making it 24-19.  Vassar's Maddie Leong (Atascadero, Calif.) and Lexi Mousley (Jericho, Vt.) hit consecutive jumpers to make it a two-point game, before a triple from Cenan made it 29-28, Pride, with 3:38 to play, thus forcing a timeout from the Pride. Coming out of the timeout, McAllister and Dzindolet hit back-to-back lay-ups to push the Pride's lead back to five, but Nick would drain a deep jumper at the 1:41 mark to keep the Brewers within three. Two more free throws from Dzindolet with 30 seconds to play in the half made it 37-32, Pride, sending the hosts into the break with a five-point lead.

Two free throws from Goslin at the 7:09 mark of the third quarter gave the Pride a 41-34 lead over the Brewers, before Cenan brought Vassar back to within three, making it 41-38 with 6:21 to play in the third. From there, Jacques hit a jumper and on Springfield College's next possession, the junior connected from three-point range to push her scoring total to 11, and the Pride's lead to eight, leading 46-38 with 4:15 on the clock. A pair of free throws from Nick pulled the Brewers to within three at the 2:22 mark, before another basket from Nick in transition tied the game at 47 apiece, a score that would carry over to the fourth.

Restituyo hit a lay-up with 7:30 on the clock to make it 53-49, Pride, before Vassar's Ryan DeOrio (Collegeville, Pa.) converted a three-point play at the 6:48 mark to keep the Brewers within one, making it 53-52. Cenan would then hit a jumper and Isa Peczuh (Willington, Conn.) converted two free throws to spot the Brewers a three-point, 56-53 lead with 4:30 to play, but Restituyo responded with two of her own to keep the Pride within one. With 2:31 on the clock, Cenan drained a pair of free throws to make it 58-55, Brewers, and DeOrio followed with two of her own to make it 60-55. On the Pride's next possession, Jacques drained a three from the corner to make it 60-58, but Cenan continued to carry Vassar's offense, finishing a lay-up to force a timeout from Springfield College, trailing 62-58. From there, Dani Douglas (Kalispell, Mont.) drained a lay-up and Jacques found twine as the clock expired, resulting in the 64-60 win for Vassar.

Springfield College will return to action on Saturday, January 5, as the Pride will take on New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Wheaton College at 3 p.m. 

Bates 80, Newbury 60-- Consolation Game

Springfield, Mass. – January 1, 2019 – The Bates College women's basketball team scored the first 17 points of the game and never looked back as it cruised past Newbury College, 80-60, in the consolation game of the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic on Tuesday afternoon in Blake Arena on the campus of Springfield College.

The loss dropped Newbury to 5-6 on the year, while Bates improved to 4-4. The Bobcats shot 31-for-67 (46.3%) in the victory, while the Nighthawks were just 22-of-53 (41.5%) in the setback.

For Bates, three players scored at least 11 points, led by Melanie Binkhorst (West Hartford, Conn.), who notched 20 points, while Meghan Graff (South Portland, Maine) poured in 17 of her own. The Bobcats dominated the glass with a 44-25 advtange, including 20 offensive boards that resulted in 24 second-chance points. 

Savannah Olsen (Battle Creek, Mich.) and Taylor Kelley (North Billerica, Mass.) led the way with 12 points apiece for Newbury, while Jaymesha Sanders (West Haven, Conn.) turned in 10 of her own in the setback.   

Bates seized control from the opening whistle, storming out to a 17-0 lead just over three minutes into the opening quarter, including seven points from Ariana Dalia (Brick, N.J.)  At 4:12, Newbury broke into the scoring column with a pair of free throws by Tatianna Occena (Spring Valley, N.Y.), which kickstarted a 9-2 surge to pull the Knighthawks with 19-9 following a jumper by Sanders with 1:44 to play.  Bates answered back with their fourth three-pointer of the stanza, this time by Julia Middlebrook (Ridgefield, Conn.), and would eventually own a 24-11 cushion after 10 minutes of play.

After Binkhorst converted inside at 6:31 of the second quarter, the Bobcats lead had grown to 34-15, but Newbury was able to close within 17 points on an Olsen putback at the 4:45 mark.  However, Bates answered right back with a 7-2 burst, getting a triple from Binkhorst to gain a 22-point advantage with 3:31 remaining in the half.  The Bobcats owned a 50-28 lead at halftime as they shot 53% from the field, including 7-of-12 from beyond the arc.

Newbury would get no closer than 20 points in the third quarter and Bates earned their largest cushion through three quarters when Skye Conley (New Gloucester, Maine) finished inside with under a minute to play to make it a 67-39 contest. Occena would drain a three to end the stanza, making it 67-42, Bates, heading to the fourth.

With 7:23 to play, Graff hit a lay-up  to give Bates a 24-point lead, but Occena connected from deep again to pull the Nighthawks back to within 21. With 48 seconds to play, Graff dished a pass out to Meredith Melendy (Grantham, N.H.), who knocked it down to make it 80-58, Bobcats, but Jada Gee (Springfield, Mass.) would score the game's final basket, finishing the game at 80-60.

All-Tournament Team

Jackie Celan - Vassar College (Most Valuable Player)
Sophie Nick - Vassar College 
Emily Jacques - Springfield College
Bridget Reddington - Springfield College
Taylor Kelley - Newbury College
Melanie Binkhorst - Bates