SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Williams College women's basketball team (3-0) defeated the Springfield College Pride (2-2) 58-54 Tuesday night in a competitive non-conference away game.
Senior Amanni Fernandez led the Ephs with 15 points, three rebounds, and four assists. Maggie Meehan (12 points) and Kristen Fechtelkotter (11 points, eight rebounds) also had big games for Williams. Springfield was led by Taylor Hall (18 points, four rebounds) and Gracie Restituyo (nine points, six rebounds).
A three pointer by Lauren Vostal 20 seconds in gave the Ephs a lead that they would not give up all game. Williams built upon this early lead throughout the first quarter, ending the period up 21-14 on the Pride.
The Ephs grew their lead in the second quarter, going up by as many as 11 at various points. A jump shot by Fernandez in the closing seconds of the period put the Ephs up 33-23 at halftime. Fernandez (seven points) and Meehan (nine points) led the Ephs in the first half of play. Williams shot 13 of 26 (50%) from the field in the first half whereas the Pride shot just 8 of 30 (26.7%).
The Pride kept the game close in the second half. Springfield started off the third quarter on a 6-0 run to make the score 33-29 with 6:54 left. The Ephs and the Pride stayed close throughout the rest of the third, and the score was 40-36 going into the fourth.
Consecutive baskets to start the fourth quarter by Fechtelkotter and Meehan put the Ephs up 45-36 with 7:42 remaining. Despite strong defensive pressure from the Pride, the Ephs were able to maintain their lead throughout the fourth; each time Springfield scored, it seemed that the Ephs had an answer. Free throws by Fernandez and Fechtelkotter in the final minuted sealed the win for the Ephs.
As a team, the Ephs shot 20 of 50 (40%) from the field, and 5 of 16 (31.3%) from three-point range.
The seniors Fernandez and Fechtelkotter scored 13 of the team's 18 points in the final period. Fernandez scored six and Fechtelkotter had seven, after she had scored just four in the game's first three quarters; Williams head coach Pat Manning was proud of Fechtelkotter for stepping up and leading the Ephs down the stretch.
Coach Manning acknowledged that the Ephs, with 17 turnovers on the night, played a sloppy game of basketball and have areas to work on as the season goes on. However, she was proud of her team for pulling out a victory against an athletic Springfield team in its first close game of the season.
Williams returns to action at home against Smith on Sunday, November 26th at 4 p.m. Springfield's next matchup is Wednesday, November 29th at Coast Guard at 7 p.m.