QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College women's basketball team posted a 57-40 victory over Fitchburg State in the 2019-20 season-opener Saturday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions begin the season with a 1-0 overall record while the Falcons fall to 0-1 on the year.
Stevie Orton (Gilford, N.H.) netted eight points and grabbed four boards and Kyra Fleharty (Lewiston, Mont.) also posted a team-high eight points. Nahatabaa Nacona (Chinle, Ariz) poured in seven points while Courtney Barba (Pismo Beach, Calif.) and Sydni Oviatt (Fruit Heights, Utah) each tallied six points. Janeth Cruz (Reseda, Calif.) finished with five points and five rebounds while Bailey Craig (Placerville, Calif.) notched five assists and four boards.
The home side grabbed an 8-5 advantage as Seniesha Sekaquaptewa (Second Mesa, Ariz.) sank two free throws with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Eastern Nazarene clung to a 10-7 edge through 10 minutes of action.
After Fitchburg State cut the deficit to 16-14, the Lions concluded the second period with an 11-0 run spanning the final 5:42 of the frame to widen the gap to 27-14.
The hosts carried a 27-14 lead into the halftime break after shooting 42.9% from the floor in the first half. The Falcons were limited to 5-for-24 shooting from the field in the opening stanza.
Barba and Fleharty each tallied six points in the first half while Jenn Burnham (West Valley City, Utah) chipped in with four points off the bench.
The guests chalked up six straight points to pull to within nine with 3:41 left to play in the third quarter, 29-20.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Shannon Chau (San Francisco, Calif.) and Nacona in the final 1:10 of the period pushed Eastern Nazarene's advantage to 38-24 heading into the fourth frame.
The Lions extended their lead to 22 points, 48-26, with seven minutes remaining in regulation on a layup by Orton.
The home team outscored Fitchburg State 19-16 in the fourth quarter to lock up its first win of the season.
Eastern Nazarene finished with a field-goal percentage of 40.9% to go with 33.3% shooting from beyond the arc. The Falcons shot 27.9% from the floor on the day while connecting on just 1-of-11 three-point attempts.
Angelina Marazzi paced Fitchburg State with 19 points and five steals while Catherine Coppinger added six points and seven boards.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene will face Framingham State in the opening game of the Brandeis Tip-Off Tournament November 15.