Mass. College Hoops: Springfield’s Graves Earns 400th Win, Pride Rallies Past Mount Holyoke

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Springfield College sports information department, here’s today’s release about women’s basketball head coach Naomi Graves, who picked up her 400th win on the sidelines this evening as the Pride rallied to beat Mount Holyoke:

Springfield, Mass. – January 15, 2014 – Springfield College head women’s basketball coach Naomi Graves won her 400th career game as the Pride rallied past Mount Holyoke, 54-47, on Wednesday night in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) showdown.

The Pride snapped its two-game slide to improve to 9-5, 5-4 in league play, while the Lyons slip to 4-10, 1-8.

For Graves, the milestone win came in her 29th season as a head women’s basketball coach. To date, Graves has a record of 400-349, including a mark of 331-266 in her 24 seasons on the sidelines at Springfield College.

Lexi Winder (Milton, Mass.) was sensational on the night for the Pride as she netted a career-high 22 points, canning eight of her 15 shots, including 4-of-7 from downtown. Jaimie Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn.) registered her eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 boards, and Ava Adamopoulos (Ludlow, Mass.) chipped in eight points off the bench.

The Lyons were paced by the play of Amber Legare (Chicopee, Mass.), who scored 17 points and pulled down 10 boards to go along with four steals. Kate Karraker (Morgantown, W.V.) finished with a team-best 18 points for the visitors, who were daunted by 19 turnovers in the game.

For the game, both teams shot just 35% from the floor, but the Pride were able to offset a shaky offensive first half by hitting 14-of-24 in the second half for a 58.3% shooting percentage.

The Pride owned an early 9-6 lead following a pair from the charity stripe by Tamara Tribble (White Plains, N.Y.) at the 13:25 mark of the opening half. Over the next nine-plus minutes, Mount Holyoke shut down Springfield as it poured on a 16-4 spurt that was capped off by a Legare inside bucket. The hosts scored the final four points of the half, with Emily Taylor’s (West Springfield, Mass.) jumper in the final minute cutting Mount Holyoke’s lead to 22-17 heading into the break.

The Lyons lead grew to 26-20 just 1:35 into the second half after Jennine Vizcaino (New York, N.Y.) leaked out for a fast-break bucket. Springfield was able to respond however, and over the next 5:24, the hosts scored 14 of the game’s next 16 points to snag a six-point cushion of their own after a Tribble layup at the 12:51 mark. Winder was huge in the stretch, burying a pair of trifectas to kick start the run.

Mount Holyoke got within a point on four different occasions, but would never reclaim the lead as the Pride proved to be too tough down the stretch. After Legare converted a conventional three-point play get within two at 46-44 with 4:10 to go, the Pride benefited from a Bickelhaupt putback and Winder’s fourth three of the night to regain a seven-point lead.

Despite Karraker answering with a three of her own with 1:21 on the clock, Springfield hit three of four from the charity stripe in the final 20 seconds to seal the win.

Springfield will continue conference play on Saturday morning when it hosts Coast Guard at 10:00 am in Blake Arena.

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