CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Despite a late rally that brought No. 4 seeded MIT within six points with 38 seconds left to play, No. 5 seed Springfield College held on a for a 57-48 victory in the quarterfinals of the NEWMAC women's basketball tournament on Wednesday. Senior Emily Gins (Fort Meyers, Fla.) posted a game-high 14 points and three steals to go along with six rebounds for the Pride. Senior Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) led the Engineers' balanced attack with 12 points in addition to producing seven rebounds, two blocks, and two assists.
With the win, Springfield (17-9) advances to the semifinals where it will face top-seed and host Babson College on Saturday, Feb. 27 for a 5:00 p.m. tip-off. MIT, meanwhile, closed its winningest season since 2001 with a 17-9 ledger.
With the score tied at eight, Springfield senior Heather Lewis (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) buried a jumper that sparked a 12-2 run over the course of the remaining six minutes in the opening quarter. The Pride maintained its comfortable cushion for most of the second quarter until two layups from senior Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) narrowed the gap to 26-20 with 2:17 left. Baskets by Gins and Lewis reestablished the double-digit margin but two free throws from junior Liana Ilutzi (East Hanover, N.J.) kept the Engineers close heading into halftime.
Springfield controlled the action in the third quarter as its advantage grew to 17 (44-27); however, Ramachandran drained a layup right before time expired. The Cardinal and Gray carried the momentum into the final frame as it mounted a 17-8 run, cutting the deficit to six (52-46) on two Ilutzi free throws with 1:47 left to play. The visitors gained some breathing room during the next minute when Lewis and Gins went 1-for-2 at the charity stripe. Following an exchange of possessions, freshman Dolly Yuan (San Jose, Calif.) drained a pair of free throws to once again bring MIT within six with 38 seconds on the clock. The Pride then thwarted the comeback attempt by hitting a trio of free throws down the stretch.
Freshman Kristen Ngan (Sudbury, Mass.) posted 10 points, seven rebounds, and two assists while Ramachandran finished with a game-high 11 rebounds, eight points, and four blocks. Ilutzi notched nine points and two assists as freshman Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) totaled 10 rebounds and seven points.
Lewis compiled 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists while junior Ava Adamopoulos (Ludlow, Mass.) tallied eight rebounds, six points, and two blocks. Sophomore Heather King (Lebanon, N.H.) registered eight points and four rebounds as sophomore Carli Brent (Wilmington, Mass.) chipped in seven points.