QUINCY, Mass.- In its first year as a member of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC), the Eastern Nazarene College women's basketball team has advanced to the semifinal round of the playoffs. The fourth-seeded Lions will travel to top-seeded New England College Thursday evening in the NECC Semifinals.
HOW THEY GOT HERE:
Eastern Nazarene finished the regular season with an 18-7 overall record to go with a 13-5 mark in the New England Collegiate Conference. New England College posted a 16-9 record in the regular season with a 15-3 league mark. The fourth-seeded Lions edged Dean in the NECC Quarterfinals while the top-seeded Pilgrims bested eighth-seeded Southern Vermont in the opening round.
Eastern Nazarene is making its fifth-straight playoff appearance, having reached the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament in each of the past four seasons. The Lions boast an all-time postseason record of 10-15.
2018-19 ENC VS. NEC RUBBER MATCH:
The two teams split the two regular-season meetings this year. Eastern Nazarene prevailed 80-76 at New England College December 6. The Pilgrims claimed a 70-53 win in Quincy, Mass. on February 2. The two teams have met 33 times on the hardwood, including a pair of postseason clashes. Eastern Nazarene owns a narrow 17-16 edge in the all-time series.
After dropping the season-opener to nationally-ranked St. Joseph's (Maine), the Lions rattled off eight-consecutive victories to start the year 8-1. Eastern Nazarene heads into the NECC semifinals riding a six-game winning-streak.
Senior Stella Dulay (Santa Maria, Calif.) and junior Kyra Fleharty (Lewistown, Mont.) own the top two shooting percentages from behind the arc in the NECC. Fleharty leads the league with a 40.8% clip from long range while Dulay is second in the conference with a three-point percentage of 36.9%. The two have combined for 40% of the Lions' three-pointers, canning 55 treys on the year.
Junior Shannon Chau (San Francisco, Calif.) was voted the NECC Defensive Player of the Year to headline Eastern Nazarene's all-conference selections. Junior Kyra Fleharty (Lewistown, Mont.) was named to the All-NECC first team while senior Tia Torio (Manteca, Calif.) picked up third team honors. Senior Emma Farrow (Blanchester, Ohio) earned a spot on the NECC Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team.