QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College women's basketball team remained unbeaten in conference play with a 63-55 victory over Becker Saturday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions climb to 9-1 on the season and 3-0 in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) with the win. The Hawks drop to 3-10 overall and 2-2 in league action with the result.
Stevie Orton (Gilford, N.H.) notched her fourth double-double of the year, finishing with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds. Jenn Burnham (West Valley City, Utah) netted 15 points off the bench to go with three boards and three assists. Janeth Cruz (Reseda, Calif.) and Seniesha Sekaquaptewa (Second Mesa, Ariz.) both chipped in with six points while Kyra Fleharty (Lewistown, Mont.) added five points and five boards.
The home side jumped out to a 9-4 edge midway through the first quarter on a three-point play by Shannon Chau (San Francisco, Calif.).
Eastern Nazarene pushed its advantage to nine points, 16-7, in the final minute of the opening frame as Nahatabaa Nacona (Chinle, Ariz.) sank a pair of free throws.
The Lions sported an 18-9 lead through 10 minutes of action.
The hosts widened the gap to double-digits on their first possession of the second quarter on a bucket by Orton, 20-9.
Eastern Nazarene wrapped up the second period with a 6-0 run to own a 34-18 advantage at the half.
Burnham tallied a team-best 10 points in the first two quarters while Orton netted six points and grabbed six boards.
The Lions shot 44% from the floor and 25% from beyond the arc in the opening half. Becker posted a field-goal percentage of 28% in the first half while connecting on 2-of-9 from three-point territory.
The visitors cut the deficit to 36-27 on a layup by Natasha Pacheco with 6:41 remaining in the third quarter.
The home team regained a 15-point cushion with 3:02 left to play in the frame as Orton canned a trey, 48-33.
Eastern Nazarene clung to a 52-39 advantage heading into the fourth period, despite Becker owning a 21-18 edge in third-quarter scoring.
The Hawks narrowed the margin to 54-46 with 5:49 to go in regulation on a layup by Cassidy Harrison.
Becker used a quick six-point outburst to pull to within four with 1:53 on the clock, 56-52.
The Lions responded with five consecutive points by Orton to extend their lead to 61-52 with 52 seconds to go and Sekaquaptewa tacked on a pair of free throws late in the game to seal the squad's seventh-straight win.
Eastern Nazarene concluded the contest with a field-goal percentage of 43.2% to go with a 5-for-17 effort from three-point range. Becker shot 38.9% from the floor on the day and 21.4% from behind the arc.
Harrison paced the Hawks with 18 points and four steals while Kelsey Maynard recorded 13 points and three steals.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene treks to New England College January 14 for a key conference clash.