Springfield, Mass. - February 23, 2019 - Despite 15 points from junior guard Emily Jacques (Auburn, Maine), the Springfield College women's basketball team fell to MIT, 66-50, in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship in Blake Arena on Saturday afternoon.
With the loss, the Pride closes the season at 18-10, while MIT, which earned an automatic qualification into the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament, improves to 21-7, and wil learn its fate during the NCAA Selection Show on Monday, February 25 at 2:30 p.m. This marked the first time that the Pride played in the NEWMAC Women's Basketball Championship since the 2013-14 season, and first in Blake Arena since 2005-06.
The Pride, which shot 17-for-63 (27.0%) on the day, was led by Jacques with 15 points, three steals and two rebounds, while Grace Dzindolet (Holliston, Mass.) chipped in with eight points and five rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. Gracie Restituyo (Barrington, R.I.) posted seven points and six rebounds, while Chelsea McAllister (Baltimore, Vt.) posted nine points in the setback. The maroon and white owned a 45-34 advantage on the glass, while the Engineers' bench outscored the Pride's, 33-15.
MIT was led by 22 points and 10 rebounds off the bench from sophomore Jocelyn Luizzi (Colchester, Conn.), while Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.) posted 10 points, five rebounds and three assists in the win.
The Engineers jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the first 1:41 when Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) hit a jumper, before McAllister drilled a three to pull the Pride back to within two, making it 7-5 at the 7:36 mark. Dolly Yuan (San Jose, Calif.) hit a lay-up with 4:16 left, sparking a quick six-point run to give MIT a 15-8 advantage, before Jacques countered with a jumper of her own, making it 15-10, Engineers, at the end of one.
Springfield College scored the first six points of the second quarter, as Dzindolet converted a lay-up to make it 16-15, Pride, with 8:07 to play in the first half, before a basket from Luizzi gave MIT made it 23-18 with 6:27 on the clock. After a steal and basket in transition from Jacques to make it 23-20, MIT responded with a 10-0 run, capped with a lay-up from Luizzi to give the Engineers a 33-20 advantage with 1:00 left in the first half. Luizzi would can two free throws to make it 35-23, MIT, at the halftime break.
The Pride quickly pulled back to within six on a lay-up from McAllister, making it 35-29, but once again, the Engineers responded and opened a 15-point lead on a three from Sophie Gershon (New York, N.Y.) with 2:27 to play in the third quarter.
MIT would retain a double-digit lead, and pushed it to 16 when Kristen Ngan (Sudbury, Mass.) hit a jumper with 7:34 to go, making it 53-37, but Springfield College crawled back and made it a 10-point, 56-46, contest when Jacques hit two free throws at the 3:38 mark. From there, MIT would regain a 12-point lead, and cruise to a 66-50 win, making it two-straight conference titles for the Engineers.