Babson Stifles Springfield, 59-35, to Capture Second Straight NEWMAC Regular Season Title

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BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) scored a game-high 17 points and classmate Taylor Russell (Braintree, Mass.) recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to help Babson College defeat visiting Springfield College, 59-35, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Staake Gymnasium.

With the win, Babson College (20-5, 14-2) clinched its second consecutive NEWMAC regular season title and reached 20 wins for the third consecutive season. Springfield (18-7, 13-3 NEWAC) will be the second seed in next week's conference tournament after seeing its four-game winning streak come to an end.

Senior Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.) grabbed 14 rebounds, blocked a career-high six shots and had three steals, while first-year Jacqueline Jozefick (Milford, Conn.) came off the bench to score 10 points for the Beavers, who are fourth in the most recent NCAA regional rankings.

Sophomore Gracie Restituyo (Barrington, R.I.) finished with 11 points and a game-high 17 rebounds for Springfield.

Leading 29-24 at halftime, the Green and White opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run and outscored the Pride 20-3 in the stanza to seize control of the game. Back-to-back layups by Pickering and first-year Emily Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.), a jumper by sophomore Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) and four straight points by Russell pushed the Babson advantage to 39-24 midway through the period. Sophomore Tea Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) followed another hoop by Bonifacic and a three-pointer by Jozefick made it 49-27 going to the fourth.

The Beavers, who held Springfield to just one field goal in the third quarter and five over the final 20 minutes, took their biggest lead of the contest on a pair of free throws by Pickering at 57-33 with 3:11 remaining.

Babson played from in front for all but the opening two minutes of the game as Pickering and Russell combined for the first 10 points, while Tamulionis drained a three-pointer to make it 14-2 with 1:25 to go in the first quarter. The Pride outscored the Green and White 20-14 in the second period, but five points from Jozefick and a late bucket by sophomore Bianca Tomassini (North Branford, Conn.) helped the hosts take a five-point lead into the locker room.

The Beavers shot only 37.3 percent, but outscored Springfield 28-18 in the paint and finished with a 48-39 edge on the glass.

The Pride shot just 20.9 percent for the game, which includes a 3-of-23 effort from beyond the arc.
Babson, which earned the top seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament, will host either fourth-seeded MIT or fifth-seeded Smith next Saturday at 12 p.m. Second-seeded Springfield will take on seventh-seeded Clark on Wednesday night.

• The Beavers are now 26-11 all-time against Springfield.
• Babson is 17-2 this season when outscoring its opponents in the paint.
• The Green and White is 17-1 on the year when holding their opponents below 40 percent shooting.
• Prior to the game Babson honored Pickering, Russell, Narlee and fellow senior Ashley Snyder. The quartet has helped the program record three consecutive 20-win seasons while compiling an overall record of 75-33 over the last four years.