LEICESTER, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College women's basketball team absorbed a 53-49 loss at Becker Tuesday evening.
The Lions drop to 13-7 on the season and 8-5 in the New England Collegiate Conference with the setback. The Hawks improve to 15-6 overall and stays on top of the league standings with a 12-2 mark.
Kyra Fleharty (Lewistown, Mont.) finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. Courtney Barba (Pismo Beach, Calif.) notched 10 points and four boards. Jenn Burnham (West Valley City, Utah) netted seven points off the bench while Sydni Oviatt (Fruit Heights, Utah) chipped in with six points.
The home team started the contest with three unanswered buckets to grab an early 6-0 lead.
The visitors clawed back with seven-straight points to jump ahead 7-6 with 4:15 left to play in the opening quarter.
At the conclusion of the first frame, Eastern Nazarene clung to a narrow 9-8 edge.
The two sides traded control of the lead throughout the first five minutes of the second period before Becker seized a five-point advantage with 2:37 remaining in the second as Sarah Ware nailed a three-pointer, 22-17.
Eastern Nazarene trimmed the deficit to 25-21 just before the intermission as Oviatt sank the first of two free throw attempts.
The Lions shot 25.9% from the floor and just 28.6% from beyond the arc in the opening half. The Hawks posted a field-goal percentage of 31.8% in the first two quarters of play to go with 3-of-5 success rate from three-point range.
A pair of free throws by Barba followed by a layup by Alyssa Cosio (Santa Barbara, Calif.) pulled the guests even at 25-25 with 8:41 to go in the third.
The hosts reclaimed a five-point lead with 5:32 left to play in the third quarter on a basket and free throw by Cassidy Harrison, 30-25.
Eastern Nazarene cut the gap to 38-37 with 37 seconds remaining in the third as Shannon Chau (San Francisco, Calif.) canned a trey.
Becker carried a slim 40-37 edge into the final frame.
The visitors kept the game close throughout the fourth quarter but were unable to regain the lead as the Hawks earned their 12th conference victory of the year.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 30.2% while connecting on 4-for-17 from behind the three-point line. Becker shot 38.6% from the floor on the night and 30% from long distance.
Ware paced the home team with a game-high 21 points while Harrison tallied 11 points.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene returns home February 7 to host Southern Vermont.