MILTON, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College women's basketball team opened the 2018-19 campaign with a 72-47 setback to St. Joseph's (Maine) Friday evening at the Curry College Tip-Off Tournament.
The Lions dip to 0-1 on the year with the loss. The Monks, ranked No. 17 in the D3Hoops.com National Poll and No. 22 in the WBCA National Coaches Poll, improve to 1-0 overall with the result.
Tia Torio (Manteca, Calif.) led the team with 15 points and six rebounds in the contest. Seniesha Sekaquaptewa (Scottsdale, Ariz.) poured in seven points off the bench. Shante Slender (Mesa, Ariz.) chipped in with six points and four boards while Mya Timms (Phoenix, Ariz.) netted a pair of points and hauled in five rebounds.
The two sides traded buckets to start the first quarter. After Jenn Burnham (West Valley City, Utah) splashed a trey to give Eastern Nazarene a 9-8 lead, St. Joseph's outscored the Lions 14-1 in the final 5:33 of the opening frame to hold a 22-10 advantage at the start of the second.
Eastern Nazarene trimmed the margin to 29-20 with 2:05 left to play in the second period as Emma Farrow (Blanchester, Ohio) converted two free throws.
The Monks scored six straight points to widen the gap to 35-20 with 11 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Lions responded with a coast-to-coast layup by Torio just before the halftime horn as St. Joseph's owned a 35-22 lead at the break.
The Monks extended their advantage to 21 points with 1:18 to go in the third quarter as Tia Day drilled a three-pointer, 53-32.
St. Joseph's outscored Eastern Nazarene 19-12 in the third frame to lead 54-35 through three quarters of action.
The Monks maintained their double-digit lead throughout the fourth to pick up the season-opening victory.
The Lions finished the night with a field-goal percentage of 32.6% to go with 30.8% shooting from beyond the arc. St. Joseph's shot 43.3% from the floor and 29.2% from three-point range.
Kelsi McNamara scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Monks while Emily Benway added 14 points and nine rebounds.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene returns to the hardwood November 10 to take on the host Colonels in the consolation game of the Curry College Tip-Off Tournament.