Women's Basketball

2017 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 | 10 NCAA Tournaments | 10 Conference Titles

Game Preview: Women's Basketball at Smith

Game Preview: Women's Basketball at Smith

Women's Basketball at Smith
Tuesday, January 9—7 p.m.
Ainsworth Gym—Northampton, Mass.

Babson and Smith will meet for the 50th time on Tuesday in a series that dates back to the 1982-83 season. The Beavers are 39-10 all-time against the Pioneers and have seven consecutive games between the teams going back to 2015.

Giovanna Pickering '17 scored a career-high 35 points and the Beavers built a 17-point halftime lead on its way to defeating Smith, 83-59, in a NEWMAC Tournament semifinals on February 25, 2017, in Babson Park. Taylor Russell '17 added 13 points and Jennifer Narlee '17 pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds for Babson. Senior Paige Marquez led the Pioneers with 19 points.

Paulina Solis scored 17 points and Mandy Castro tallied 10 of her 14 points in the first half as the top-seeded Pioneers defeated fifth-seeded Babson, 64-58, in a NEWMAC Tournament semifinal on March 1, 2014, in Northampton. Narlee went 10-of-12 from the floor and finished with a career-high 20 points to go along with seven rebounds for the Beavers.

Smith (8-4, 2-2 NEWMAC) has dropped two straight games on the heels of a four-game winning streak after falling 83-76 at Emerson on Saturday. Junior Kennedy Guest-Pritchett scored 24 points on 12-of-13 shooting and senior Meghan Holland added 15 points for the Pioneers, who allowed the Lions to shoot 60 percent in the second half. Pritchett (16.0 pts, 11.3 reb) leads the conference in scoring and is shooting a NEWMAC-best 61.2 percent, junior Lauren Bondi (13.4, 3.3 ast) is first in the league in three-point field goal percentage (54.8), and Marquez is contributing 8.5 points and team-high 3.7 assists. Smith is shooting 47.2 percent from the floor and making more than seven three-pointers per contest against NEWMAC foes.

Babson (9-4, 5-0 NEWMAC) has won three straight games after blowing past Mount Holyoke 103-22 on Saturday. Junior Bianca Tomassini tied her career high with 21 points and first-year Katie Jones added a career-best 16 points for the Beavers, who scored 58 points off of 41 Lyon turnovers. Junior Payton Ouimette (13.8 pts, 11.9 reb) leads the NEWMAC with eight double-doubles, classmate Tea Spellacy (8.5 pts, 2.9 ast) is dishing out 4.0 assists in conference play, and senior Brenna LeGacy and junior Katherine Tamulionis are both averaging 7.2 points. The Green and White is limiting league foes to just 32.6 percent shooting and owns a +18.6 rebounding margin in NEWMAC play.

The Beavers have won 15 straight conference road games, which 11 includes 11 double-digit victories going back to January 20, 2016. Standing in Babson's path on Wednesday is Smith, which has won 15 consecutive home games dating back to January 3, 2017.

The Green and White, which ranks 11th in Division III in rebounding margin at +13.2, owns a 44.8 offensive rebounding percentage and is averaging 15.8 second-chance points over its first five conference games. Additionally, the Beavers are limiting their foes to just 7.8 offensive boards in NEWMAC play.

LeGacy averaged 14.0 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 54.8 percent from the floor in three games against the Pioneers last season.

The Beavers are 6-2 this season and 46-5 going back to the start of the 2015-16 season when scoring at least 60 points.