WENHAM, Mass.—Gordon Women's Basketball shook off a tough third quarter by capitalizing on some big moments in the fourth to take a 76-67 win over Eastern Nazarene in the Commonwealth Coast Conference opener. The Fighting Scots secured their first home victory of the season after dropping three in a row and improved to 2-3. The Lions came into the night unbeaten through four games.
Olivia Stark (Arvada, Colo.) far out passed her career high with 24 points to led the Scots away from a second-half disappointment after holding a big lead at halftime. Earning her first career start, Sarah Gibbs (Elizabethtown, Pa.) capitalized on the opportunity with 12 points and 15 rebounds while playing a game-high 36 minutes.
The three ball was kind to the Scots at the start, making their first two attempts to take an 8-4 lead midway through the opening quarter. However, a four-minute dry spell allowed the Lions to chip away and ultimately take a 15-10 lead before Stark drained a triple to make it a two-point game entering the second.
ENC held a slight 20-17 advantage with 6:48 on the clock in the second when Gordon made one its largest runs of the season. The Fighting Scots erupted with an 18-4 to end the period, surpassing their point total from the first 13 minutes of game time. Stark was the catalyst of the attack, while Jenna Olson (Rutland, Vt.) came in to give the Scots important minutes in the waning stages of the half.
Gordon 11-point lead was quickly erased by the Lions, who started the half on a 14-2 run. The Lions made their free throws all game long and it aided them in the blitzing comeback in the third. A three from Stark to reclaim the lead for Gordon gave the Scots' confidence boost and the home team was able to cling to a 51-49 advantage through three quarters.
The Fighting Scots defense came up with several big stops in the final period, helping the team build the lead back to up to as many as 11. The Lions were never able to fully recover and Gordon clinched its first win over ENC since February of 2013.
Kayla Torio (Manteca, Calif.) was the only player to score with any consistency for the Lions with 13 points. The point guard filled up the box score with five assists, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal to boot. Sam Cary (Keller, Texas) had an efficient nine-point, six-board night off the bench. Jaysa Cooper (Frisco, Texas) had 12 boards to lead the Lions, who outrebounded Gordon on the night by seven.
Stark's incredible night ended four-of-five shooting from downtown and six assists. Gibbs earned her first career double-double and added four steals as well, tying her with Olson for the team lead on the evening. Olson went 4-for-5 from the floor for 11 points and gave the Scots big plays when they desperately needed them. Alisha Henderson (Oregon City, Ore.) also had 10 points off the bench.
Gordon shot a season-best 44 percent from behind the arch and 46.7 percent from the field. Their defense also held a team under 70 for the first time in 2016-17.
The Fighting Scots are back in action on Saturday with a road contest at Western New England. The Lions host Endicott on Saturday.
Gordon won its first CCC game of the season for the first time since the 2007-08 season when they topped Wentworth in the opener.