Pioneers End Beavers' 15-Game Conference Road Winning Streak
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—First-year Nicole Hiller (Rocky Hill, Conn.) hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation to force overtime, but Smith College closed the game with a 10-0 run and defeated the Beavers, 83-73, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Tuesday night at Ainsworth Gym.
Babson, which had its 15-game conference road winning streak snapped, falls to 9-5 overall and 5-1 in the NEWMAC, while Smith improves to 9-4 and 3-2 with its 16th consecutive home win.
Junior Payton Ouimette (Medfield, Mass.) recorded her ninth double-double of the year with 18 points and 17 rebounds, while classmate Tea Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) came off the bench to finish with a career-high 17 points, six boards and three assists. Fellow junior Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) added a career-best 15 points and Hiller had 10 points for the Beavers.
Junior Kennedy Guest-Pritchett (Fairburn, Ga.) finished with game highs of 27 points and 19 rebounds, while classmate Lauren Bondi (Burnaby, British Columbia) added 25 points, which included a 14-of-14 effort at the free throw line for the Pioneers.
Down eight late in the third quarter, the Green and White used a 14-6 run to pull even at 58-all on a free throw by senior Brenna LeGacy (Attleboro, Mass.) with 6:31 to go in the fourth. Bondi accounted for eight of Smith's final 10 points, including a pair of free throws with 20 seconds to go, before Hiller knocked down a deep three-pointer off the ensuing inbounds play to tie the game at 68-68. Bondi drove it to the hoop on the final possession of regulation but her runner rimmed out sending the game to overtime.
Babson, which never led in the extra session, pulled even at 73-all on a three-pointer by Tamulionis with 2:07 left before Smith's closing run. Guest-Pritchett gave the hosts the lead for good with a driving layup at the 1:37 mark, and senior Meghan Holland (Atherton, Calif.) hit her second triple of the extra session to make it 78-73 with 49 seconds to go.
The Beavers trailed by as many as seven in the opening stanza before ripping off an 11-0 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 21-17 just over two minutes into the second quarter. Ouimette and Spellacy combined for 15 of Babson's 19 second-quarter points, but Guest-Pritchett countered with nine points as the Pioneers pushed their advantage back to 38-33 at the half.
The Beavers, who were outrebounded 51-43, scored 20 points off of 19 Smith turnovers. The Pioneers finished with a 40-20 edge in paint scoring and a 19-15 advantage in second-chance points.
Both teams return to action on Thursday as Babson hosts Wellesley at 6 p.m., while Smith travels to Springfield for a 1 p.m. tipoff.
• The Beavers are 39-11 all-time against Smith and Wednesday's loss snapped their seven-game winning streak in the series.
• Wednesday loss marked just the third time in the last 27 games that Babson has lost when scoring at least 70 points.
• After giving up an average of just 7.8 offensive rebounds over its first five NEWMAC games, the Green and White gave up 19 to the Pioneers.
• The Beavers are 3-2 in overtime games over the last two seasons.