BROOKLINE, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College women's basketball team began conference play with a 77-58 victory at Newbury Tuesday evening.
The Lions improve to 3-1 on the year and 1-0 in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) with the win. The Nighthawks fall to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in league competition with the result.
Courtney Barba (Pismo Beach, Calif.) poured in a team-high 15 points on the night. Kyra Fleharty (Lewistown, Mont.) netted 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Tia Torio (Manteca, Calif.) finished with 11 points, nine boards, and four assists.
The visitors strung together a 16-0 run to establish an early 18-2 lead with 4:56 remaining in the opening period.
Eastern Nazarene stretched its advantage to 21 with 2:10 to go in the first frame as Jenn Burnham (West Valley City, Utah) buried a mid-range jumper, 25-4.
The Lions sported a 26-8 lead after connecting on 11-of-18 field-goal attempts in the first quarter.
A 9-1 spurt by Newbury cut the margin to 32-21 with 5:16 left to play in the second frame.
A pair of buckets by Fleharty and two free throws by Alyssa Cosio Murillo (Santa Barbara, Calif.) extended Eastern Nazarene's lead to 20 points with under a minute to go in the first half, 43-23.
The Lions held a 43-26 edge at the break after shooting 47.1% from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc in the opening two quarters of action. The Nighthawks owned a field-goal percentage of 37% at the midway point of the game to go with 1-of-5 from three-point range.
The guests widened the gap to 22 with 5:24 remaining in the third, 53-31, on a trey by Barba.
Eastern Nazarene carried an 18-point lead into the fourth quarter, 57-39.
The Lions narrowly outscored the Nighthawks 20-19 in the final period to lock up their first conference victory of the season.
Eastern Nazarene shot 42.4% from the floor and 31.6% from long distance on the evening. Newbury concluded the contest with a field-goal percentage of 35.7% to go with 2-of-11 shooting from behind the three-point line.
Savannah Olsen scored 14 points to lead the home side while Jaymesha Sanders chipped in with 12 points.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene returns home to square off against Anna Maria November 24.