Pioneers Place Second in NEWMAC Women's Basketball Championship

Erin Richards '15 Sports Editor

This past weekend, the Pioneers went head to head in two competitive games in the NEWMAC Women’s Basketball Championship, held for the first time in Ainsworth Gym. Although the weekend ended in a heartbreaking defeat by Springfield College, records were broken and each game was played with heart.

During the first game, played on Saturday, March 1, at 1 p.m., Smith College went up against the fifth-seeded Babson College. The game was an exciting battle between the two teams, neither running away with the game until the final minutes. Mandy Castro ’17 came off the bench to shock spectators with her career high fourteen points. Additionally, Paulina Solis ’15 added seventeen points and five steals to the Pioneer scoreboard, while forward Lauren Weston ’15 grabbed nine rebounds. Center Rosa Drummond ’14 came back after an injury to assist the Pioneers with nine points. At the 13:23 minute mark, Jazmine Collins ’17 took the lead for Smith, bringing the score to 49–41. With free throws made by both Solis and Castro, the Pioneers defeated Babson with a final score of 64–48.

Sunday’s game put the first-seeded Pioneers up against the sixth-seeded Springfield College. Though defeated in the final minutes of the game, Drummond tied for the top spot in career scoring with a total of 1,441 points. The senior completed her final game of the championship with her eighth double-double of the season, tallying up 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Pioneers. Solis also added nine points and a career-high three swipes to her record, while Weston and Sydney Parkmond ’14 added seven points apiece. Solis commented on the tournament: “Saturday, I think we did a really excellent job in executing the game plan. It was awesome to see the support. Overall, it was a great turnout. We are very optimistic because we got a bid into ECAC [the Eastern College Athletic Conference]. We are all super excited about it because we are very fortunate.” The ECAC will be held on Wednesday, March 5, hosted by Smith College in Ainsworth Gym.