SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Springfield College battled back from a 22-14 first half deficit to post a 47-39 victory over Mount Holyoke College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday evening.
With the victory, the Pride earn the regular season title and also clinch the top seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament, finishing with a 19-6 mark and a 14-2 clip in conference play. The Lyons are now 6-18 overall with a 3-12 record in NEWMAC action. They will play their final regular season contest on Saturday against WPI (2pm). It will be Senior Day for the Lyons' Class of 2015.
After an opening half which saw Mount Holyoke senior guard Kate Karraker notch 19 points, including five three-pointers, the home team held the 22-14 lead. The Pride jumped right back into it off the break as free throws by senior forward Jaimie Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) and a jumper from senior guard Andrea Moschetta (Harrison, N.Y./Harrison) cut the lead to six (24-18) with 16:06 on the clock.
Karraker, who needed just 24 points to reach 1,000 in her career, became the 13th player in MHC history to reach the milestone at 15:40 after laying down her sixth trey of the contest to the Lyons up 27-18. Springfield rebounded once again, going on a 7-0 run to make it a 29-27 game on a layup from sophomore guard Dina Pitsas (Milford, N.H./Milford).
A jumper from Pride junior Heather Lewis (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) tied the game at 31-all with 9:15 to play and Bickelhaupt would later give Springfield the lead with back-to-back layups. Pitsas, who scored all eight of her points in the second half, would nail consecutive layups of her own to push the visitors' edge to seven (41-34) with just 4:08 left.
Karraker sank another layup at the 2:41 mark to pull MHC to within 41-38, but Springfield proved to be too much at the end, holding the home team to just one point over the final 2:33 of the contest to seal the victory and the conference regular season title.
For the Pride, Bickelhaupt finished with 15 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. She added three assists, a block and a steal. Lewis added 10 points with three boards and two assists, while Pitsas notched four boards and two assists to go along with her eight points. Sophomore guard Danielle Racette (North Adams, Mass./Drury) had a game-best five steals, all of which came in the second stanza.
The Lyons saw Karraker record a game-and-career best 28 points. She shot 11-of-18 from the field and was 6-of-12 from three-point range during her 1,000 career point effort. She also chipped in with two boards an assist and a steal. Senior forward Amber Legare (Chicopee, Mass./Chicopee Comprehensive) had four points and five boards, while classmate Nicole DeMarchena (Miami, Fla./Amherst Regional) added 10 boards and a game-high three blocks.
Photo of Karraker (#10) and team courtesy of Sana Barclay '15