Women's Basketball

2017 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 | 10 NCAA Tournaments | 10 Conference Titles

Women's Basketball Topples Smith, 74-65

Women's Basketball Topples Smith, 74-65

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Senior Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) led all scorers with 18 points and junior Brenna LeGacy (Attleboro, Mass.) added 17 as visiting Babson College defeated Smith College, 74-65, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Ainsworth Gym.

With its third straight win, Babson is now 4-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play, while Smith falls to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the NEWMAC.

Senior Taylor Russell (Braintree, Mass.) scored 10 points and classmate Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.) contributed nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the Beavers.

Sophomore Erin Hanley (San Francisco, Calif.) scored 13 points and classmate Kennedy Guest-Pritchett (Fairburn, Ga.) recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pioneers.

Following six ties and four lead changes over the first seven minutes, Smith closed the first quarter with a 9-2 run to build a 19-13 advantage on a jump shot by junior Meghan Holland (Atherton, Calif.). Senior Jade Chiara (Lahaina, Hawaii) gave the Pioneers their biggest lead of the game at 21-13 on the opening possession of the second quarter, but the Green and White responded with an 11-3 spurt that included hoops from all five starters to tie the game at 24-24 with 4:14 left in the stanza. LeGacy put the Beavers up 27-26 on a free throw and junior Hannah Metcalf (Middlebury, Conn.) knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key to give Babson a 30-29 lead at the break.

Pickering was 7-of-8 from the field and scored 14 points in the third quarter as the Beavers outscored the Smith 26-16 to build an 11-point advantage. A three-point play by sophomore Tea Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) made it 48-43 at the 4:26 mark, Pickering followed with back-to-back hoops and first-year Emily Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.) hit a pair of jumpers late in the stanza to give the Green and White a 56-45 edge entering the fourth quarter.

The Babson lead was eight with under seven minutes to go before the Pioneers used a 9-0 run to go in front 61-60 on a bucket by Guest-Pritchett with 4:11 remaining. The Beavers responded with a 10-1 run though, which included back-to-back three-pointers from Russell and Spellacy to make it 70-62 with 1:01 to go.

Babson shot 53.3 percent in the second half and 43.8 percent (28-of-64) for the game, while finishing with a 50-33 edge on the glass.

Smith shot just 33.9 percent (19-of-56), but outscored the Beavers 25-14 at the free throw line and scored 20 points off of turnovers.

Babson will take on Brandeis in its home opener on Monday at 7 p.m., while the Pioneers travel to WPI on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

•    The Beavers are 37-10 all-time against Smith and have won 16 of the last 18 meetings between the teams.
•    Babson has won seven consecutive road games against NEWMAC foes.
•    The Beavers are 4-0 this season and 23-2 over the last two years when leading after three quarters.
•    Babson has won 24 of its last 25 games when scoring at least 60 points. Its only loss during that stretch was a five-point setback to second-ranked Amherst.