HENNIKER, N.H.- The Eastern Nazarene College women's basketball team posted a 74-60 victory at reigning league champion New England College Tuesday evening.
The Lions rise to 10-1 overall and 4-0 in the New England Collegiate Conference with their eighth-straight win. The Pilgrims move to 10-4 on the season and 4-1 in conference play with the result.
Stevie Orton (Gilford, N.H.) chalked up a team-high 24 points and hauled in five rebounds. Kyra Fleharty (Lewistown, Mont.) notched 14 points and four boards. Janeth Cruz (Reseda, Calif.) registered seven points and eight rebounds off the bench.
The visitors snagged an early 8-4 edge on Fleharty splashed a three-pointer with 7:01 remaining in the first quarter.
The home side leveled the score at 12-12 with 4:00 left to play in the opening period on a layup by Kayla Goldring.
New England College nabbed its first lead of the game with 2:32 on the clock as Rene Hudson drained a trey, 15-13.
Eastern Nazarene trailed 17-16 entering the second frame but regained a two-point advantage with 8:01 to go in the second as Orton converted two free throws, 19-17.
The Lions widened the gap to nine with 3:09 remaining in the first half on a three-pointer by Orton, 33-24.
After outscoring the Pilgrims 19-10 in the second quarter, Eastern Nazarene sported a 35-27 halftime lead.
The guests shot 37.5% from the floor and connected on 4-of-8 from behind the arc in the first two periods. The hosts compiled a field-goal percentage of 31.4% in the opening half to go with 1-for-9 shooting from three-point range.
Orton paced the Lions with 11 first-half points while adding three rebounds. Fleharty netted six points while Bailey Craig (Placerville, Calif.) and Cruz each chipped in with five points off the bench.
New England College used a quick 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 37-33 early in the third quarter.
Eastern Nazarene reclaimed a nine-point cushion midway through the third as Orton tossed in a layup, 44-35.
The Lions stretched the margin to double digits on a basket by Cruz with 3:33 left to play in the frame.
The visitors headed into the fourth quarter in front by 13 points, 53-40, after outscoring the hosts 18-13 in the third period.
A 7-2 spurt to start the final stanza extended Eastern Nazarene's lead to 60-42, its largest advantage of the night.
New England College trimmed the gap to nine with 2:16 remaining in regulation as Hudson knocked down a trey, 64-57.
The Lions pushed their advantage to double-figures with 1:49 on the clock on a pair of free throws by Shante Slender (Kayenta, Ariz.), 68-57.
The Lions finished the game with a field-goal percentage of 39.6% while draining 6-of-14 from long distance. The Pilgrims shot 35.8% from the floor on the evening and just 14.3% from beyond the arc.
Hudson paced the home team with 20 points while Ericka Pratt contributed 12 points and Goldring added 11 points.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene travels to Mitchell January 18.