QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene women's basketball team claimed its second-consecutive win Tuesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center, topping Nichols 58-48 in the final home game of the season.
The Lions rise to 8-16 overall and keep their playoff hopes alive with a 4-13 mark in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the win. The Bison fall to 11-13 on the year and 6-11 in league contests with the loss.
Prior to tip-off, the Eastern Nazarene women's basketball program honored its lone senior, Abbie Tonello (Bourne, Mass.).
In her final home game in a Lion uniform, Tonello posted a double-double with team-highs of 12 points and 14 rebounds. Christina Saint-Pierre (Lantana, Fla.) also recorded a double-double on the night, finishing with 12 points and 11 boards. Jordan Grays (Elk Grove, Calif.) poured in 11 points, gathered nine rebounds and came up with three steals. Ruby Leon (Fairfield, Calif.) chipped in with nine points and three assists while Lauren Hevy (North Brookfield, Mass.) added five points, seven rebounds and three helpers.
The home team seized a six-point edge with 13:33 left to play in the first as Jamie Emerson (Attleboro, Mass.) tossed in a lay-up, 14-8.
The visitors responded with six straight points to even the contest at 14-14 with 11:18 on the clock.
After the two squads exchanged baskets, Eastern Nazarene built a five-point lead with less than five minutes remaining in the half, 25-20.
Leon drilled a triple with 1:11 left to play to push the Lions' advantage to eight, 30-22.
Nichols chalked up a free throw by Amber Litwinko in the final minute to cut the halftime margin to seven, 30-23.
Eastern Nazarene shot 41.4% from the floor in the opening half, including 28.6% from outside the three-point line. Nichols sported a field-goal percentage of 35.5% at halftime while coming up empty from long distance.
Tonello led the Lions with eight first-half points and seven rebounds. Grays netted six point and grabbed five boards in the opening period.
The Bison tied the score at 33-33 as Devon Spirka capped off a 10-3 run with a lay-up six minutes into the second stanza.
Eastern Nazarene answered with six consecutive points to grab a 39-33 lead midway through the second half.
Nichols pulled to within three with 6:41 on the clock as Sarah Whitestone netted a lay-in, 43-40.
The Lions stretched the margin to seven with less than five minutes remaining on a put-back lay-up by Tonello, 49-42.
After the Bison cut the deficit to three with 2:23 to go, Eastern Nazarene tallied seven straight points to widen the gap to 10 on free throws by Leon and Saint-Pierre with under two minutes left to play.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 35% on the night to go with 27.3% shooting from beyond the arc. The Bison connected on 33.8% of their shot attempts in the game while being limited to 0-for-8 from three-point range.
Whitestone paced Nichols with 17 points off the bench while Alexis Wegrzynek added 14 points and 11 boards.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene wraps up the regular season on the road with a pivotal matchup at Gordon February 22.