QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College women's basketball team downed Dean 70-59 Tuesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center to run its winning-streak to five games.
The Lions improve to 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in the New England Collegiate Conference with the victory. The Bulldogs fall to 1-5 overall and 1-2 in league competition with the result.
Tia Torio (Manteca, Calif.) paced the team with 16 points and added five rebounds. Jenn Burnham (West Valley City, Utah) finished with 14 points, four rebounds, and two blocks. Kyra Fleharty (Lewistown, Mont.) notched 10 points and hauled in seven boards. Courtney Barba (Pismo Beach, Calif.) chipped in with eight points, seven rebounds, and three steals.
The hosts secured an early six-point lead with 6:41 left to play in the first frame, 9-3.
The visitors cut the deficit to 11-9 with 4:41 remaining in the opening quarter on a put-back layup by Makayla Rudder.
Through one quarter of play, Eastern Nazarene clung to a 17-11 advantage as neither squad netted points in the final two minutes of the period.
The Lions stretched their lead to 19-11 less than a minute into the second quarter as Burnham knocked down a jump shot.
Dean pulled to within two with 5:03 to go in the half, 24-22, on a pair of free throws by Rudder.
Eastern Nazarene responded with back-to-back buckets and a free throw by Shante Slender (Kayente, Ariz.) to expand the margin to 29-22 with 2:03 left to play in the second.
Eastern Nazarene held a 33-24 lead over Dean after Burnham canned a baseline-jumper in the waning seconds of the half. The Lions shot 37.1% from the floor and just 1-for-8 from beyond the arc in the opening two quarters. The Bulldogs posted a field-goal percentage of 24.3% at the break and connected on 2-of-5 from three-point range.
Torio paced the home team with nine points while Burnham tallied eight points and a pair of blocks in the first half.
The Lions pushed their lead to double-figures on their first possession of the third quarter as Torio splashed a trey, 36-24.
Eastern Nazarene strung together a 14-0 run to widen the gap to 21 points with 2:14 left to play in the third, 54-33.
The home side held a 57-36 edge through three frames.
The Lions increased their lead to 26 points midway through the fourth quarter, 66-40, on a layup by Seniesha Sekaquaptewa (Second Mesa, Ariz.).
Dean compiled a 14-0 streak to trim the deficit to 68-56 with 1:20 on the clock before Barba nailed a jumper in the paint to halt the run and lock up the victory for Eastern Nazarene.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 40% to go with 31.3% shooting from long distance. The Bulldogs shot 30.4% from the floor on the night and drained 5-of-12 three-point attempts.
Rudder led the visitors with 16 points and 11 rebounds on the night while Sitaara Muhammad scored 14 points.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene heads to Pine Manor December 1 for a non-conference clash.