Springfield, MA- Host Springfield College outscored MCLA 34-23 in the closing game as the Pride broke open a close game and went on to defeat the Trailblazers 58-45 in the opening game of the Holiday Inn/Naismith Classic. The Pride improve to 8-2 on the season while the Trailblazers fall to 4-5 with the loss.
Gracie Restituyo was tough to handle all day long as she posted game highs of 18 points and 15 rebounds. Chelsea McAllister added 12 points for the Pride in the win.
Both teams showed some rust in the opening half as the game marked the return to action after long layoffs. Springfield led 11-10 after one quarter and just 24-22 at halftime. Both teams shot poorly in the opening half as MCLA was 33% while the Pride connected on just 23% of their attempts.
Springfield opened the second half on an 11-3 run to create some separation. Restituyo converted on the first two possessions and when Emily Jacques drilled a three pointer with 5:56 left in the third quarter, it was 35-25 in favor of the hosts. MCLA would cut it to seven points late in the period after Brundige converted and Emily Moulton added a free throw to make it 42-35, but SC's Alex Goslin scored at the buzzer and the Pride would take a 44-35 edge into the home period.
The lead grew to 17 points and MCLA would get no closer than 11 points the rest of the way as the Pride cruised home with the victory.
The Pride overcame the tough first half shooting to convert on 32% of their total attempts on the afternoon (41% in the second half).
Restituyo was 5-13 from the floor but 8-10 from the line for her 18 point night. Of her 15 boards, 6 were on the offensive end. McAllister did most of her damage in the opening half of play as she had 9 of her 12 points in the opening periods.
Brundige was 4-11 shooting for the Trailblazers for her 12 point night. Courtney Pingelski added 11 points but was just 3-12 shooting. She did add 7 rebounds for MCLA. Mckenzie Robinson scored just 3 points, but added a game best 8 assists for the Trailblazers.
MCLA is back in action tomorrow when they take on NEWMAC foe Babson at Noon as the Naismith Classic continues. The game will be played at Springfield College.