Top 10 Stories for 2014-15 WNE Athletics School Year: #9 Historic Women's Hoops Victory

Top 10 Stories for 2014-15 WNE Athletics School Year: #9 Historic Women's Hoops Victory
'Bears Storm Back From 22-Down in Second Half to Clip Springfield College, 68-63 (originally posted Nov. 18, 2014)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--It's here...the top 10 stories of the 2014-15 academic year in Western New England University Athletics. Throughout the remainder of the summer, we'll countdown the best moments played out by Western New England NCAA teams, coaches and student-athletes since July 1, 2014.

The countdown continues with No. 9 and the Golden Bears stunning comeback victory over crosstown rival Springfield College, 68-63, in non-conference women's basketball action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center field house.

The Pride, who were the defending champions in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference, finished the season at 19-7 overall and was the No. 1 seed in the 2015 NEWMAC Tournament after going 14-2 during the regular season.

Trailing 41-25 at the intermission, the Golden Bears outscored SC 43-22 in the second half and used their bench to overcome a 22-point deficit at 51-29 with 15 minutes and 4 seconds to go in the contest. Sophomores Emily Anderson and Sammie Olson scored all their points in the game of 11 and 10, respectively, during a key 37-12 run over the final 12:14.

Western New England earned its first win in the series since Feb. 6, 2007, and the teams were meeting for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The Pride own a 12-2 lead all-time. The comeback win is the largest under Coach Nicole Chaszar's 10-year tenure at Western New England and the 22 points is believed to be the largest deficit to overcome in the program's history.

Dina Pitsas scored her only points of the night on a fastbreak lay-up to give SC a seemingly insurmountable 51-29 advantage before a stretch when both teams didn't score a single point for almost 3 minutes.

Western New England began to chip away with a pair of free throws by junior Chelsea Vujs (10 points, 5 rebounds) and four consecutive points by Anderson on two free throws and a lay-up. With the score 51-35 in favor of the Pride at the midway point of the second half, the Golden Bears sophomore Gabby Lavinio drained a 3-pointer from the left wing--her only points of the contest--to cap a 9-0 run and close within 51-38.

After a King lay-in on SC's next possession, Olson made a close shot of her own to spark a WNE 14-0 run to close to 53-52. Sophomore Sammie Battaini (11 points) had five points and Olson, seven, during the stretch.

Then an Olson trey at the top of the key gave WNE its first lead at 55-54 with 3:20 remaining, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Anderson stretched the cushion to 60-54 with a conventional three-point play and lay-in on back-to-back possessions, and the Golden Bears never trailed after Olson's second 3-pointer of the contest.

Springfield College led by double digits for much of the opening 20 minutes, but WNE's bench outscored the Pride's.

Top 10 Western New England Athletics Stories/Moments for 2014-15 School Year:
#10: Football Wins Inaugural Pynchon SAW Game in Big Comeback at Springfield College
#9: Women's Basketball Overcomes 22-Point Second-Half Deficit to Defeat Springfield College for the First Time Since 2007
#8: Announced July 24
#7: Announced July 27
#6: Announced July 31
#5: Announced Aug 3
#4: Announced Aug 10
#3: Announced Aug. 17
#2: Announced Aug. 24
#1: Announced Aug. 31

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