SPRINGFIELD, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene women's basketball dropped a narrow 56-54 decision at Western New England Saturday afternoon.
The Lions fall to 4-9 overall and 0-6 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the loss. The Golden Bears improve to 6-6 on the season and 3-3 in league action with the win.
Nicole Greer (Odenton, Md.) scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed a team-best seven rebounds. Jasmine Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.) finished with a career-high 15 points while adding five assists and four boards. Christina Saint-Pierre (Lantana, Fla.) notched six points and six rebounds while Krystal Holl (Hagerstown, Md.) recorded six points and five boards. Abbie Tonello (Bourne, Mass.) collected seven rebounds and tallied five points on the afternoon.
Eastern Nazarene raced out to a 7-2 lead early on in the contest, capped off by a lay-up by Saint-Pierre 1:43 after the opening tip-off.
The Lions stretched their advantage to nine with 15:13 left to play in the period as Johnson tossed in a lay-up, 13-4.
The visitors' widest margin of the first frame came with 6:38 remaining, a 25-11 gap after back-to-back treys from Johnson and a jumper by Holl.
Western New England battled back to cut the deficit to two points with 2:27 on the clock as Chelsea Vujs knocked down a three-pointer, 27-25.
Eastern Nazarene tallied seven of the final nine points of the first half to head into the halftime intermission sporting a seven-point advantage, leading the Golden Bears 34-27.
Johnson led all players with 13 first-half points and four assists while Greer contributed with nine points and seven boards off the bench.
Eastern Nazarene shot 36.6% from the field in the opening stanza, including 4-for-8 from long range. Western New England connected on 30.3% of its field-goal attempts in the first frame, including 28.6% of its three-point chances.
The Golden Bears opened the second half with a 9-2 run to tie the game at 36-36 with 12:54 left to play.
The Lions reclaimed a five-point edge with 10:46 remaining as Greer drained one of her two three-pointers on the afternoon.
The hosts trimmed the lead to one with 8:25 on the clock after Samantha McCann made a lay-in, 45-44.
Western New England captured its first lead of the contest with 25 seconds to go in regulation as Alicia Lewis nailed a three-pointer from the top of the key, 55-54.
On Eastern Nazarene's next trip down the court, Johnson and Ruby Leon (Fairfield, Calif.) each missed a go-ahead lay-up with less than 10 seconds remaining.
The Golden Bears secured the victory with a free throw by Lewis with one tick left on the clock.
The Lions finished the game with a field-goal percentage of 29.9% to go with 41.7% shooting from three-point distance. The home side shot 27.7% from the floor and 38.5% from beyond the arc on the day.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene returns home January 15 to take on Salve Regina.