CHICOPEE, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College women's basketball team edged Elms 56-53 on the road Tuesday evening to complete the season-sweep.
The Lions improve to 13-5 on the season and 8-3 in the New England Collegiate Conference with the win. The Blazers move to 10-9 overall and 6-6 in conference play with the outcome.
Kyra Fleharty (Lewistown, Mont.) netted a team-best 16 points and hauled in six rebounds while Courtney Barba (Pismo Beach, Calif.) finished with nine points. Tia Torio (Manteca, Calif.) posted eight points, eight boards, five assists, and four steals in the contest. Shannon Chau (San Francisco, Calif.) registered eight points and added five rebounds.
The guests came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, knocking down four of their first five attempts to establish an 8-0 lead early in the contest.
Eastern Nazarene's advantage swelled to double-digits with 4:23 left in the first quarter on a fast-break layup by Burnham, 14-4.
The Lions controlled a 17-9 edge after 10 minutes of action.
Eastern Nazarene outscored Elms 11-8 in the second period to carry a 28-17 lead into the halftime hiatus.
The visitors shot 40% from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc in the first half. The home team was limited to a field-goal percentage of 24% in the opening two quarters while connecting on 1-of-3 from three-point distance.
Fleharty tallied eight points and grabbed four boards in the first half to lead the Lions while Chau chipped in with five points and five rebounds.
Elms cut the gap to 30-23 with 6:38 to go in the third as Samantha Lynes drained a trey. Three unanswered layups pulled the Blazers to within three with 4:33 on the clock, 32-29. Eastern Nazarene halted the short run with a lay-in by Torio before a triple from Barba extended the margin to 37-31 with three minutes left to play in the third frame.
The Lions clung to a six-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, 42-36.
After the two squads traded treys to start the final period, the guests netted six consecutive points to expand their advantage to a dozen with 6:40 remaining in regulation, 51-39.
Niah Pantry rattled off seven straight points and Sarah Clark nailed a three-pointer to trim Elms' deficit to 53-50 with seconds left to play in the game.
Eastern Nazarene responded with a make from the charity stripe by Torio to take a four-point edge late, 54-50.
The Blazers answered with a layup and free throw by Clark to make it a one-point affair with seven ticks to go, 54-53.
The Lions sealed the win as Fleharty converted two free throw attempts with five seconds left to play.
Eastern Nazarene concluded the contest with a field-goal percentage of 34.5% to go with five three-pointers on 15 chances. Elms shot 38.9% from the floor on the night and 45.5% from behind the arc.
Pantry paced the home team with a game-high 19 points while Lynes contributed with nine points off the bench.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene returns home to face New England College in a pivotal game February 2.