Lions pull away in fourth to best Bison

More news about: Nichols

DUDLEY, Mass. – The Nichols College women's basketball team stayed close through the first three quarters of action, but Eastern Nazarene outscored the Bison 25-6 in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 71-46 win in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action on Tuesday night in Dudley, Mass.
The Bison drop to 3-21 overall and 1-16 in the CCC with the setback and wrap up the 2017-18 campaign on Saturday afternoon in a 1:00 p.m. matchup with Wentworth, which will serve as the team's Senior Day. Eastern Nazarene improves to 12-12 overall and 6-11 in league games.
For the second-straight game, freshman Shannon St. Lawrence checked in as the team's leading scorer as she knocked down four three-pointers en route to 12 points, six rebounds, an assist, and two steals. Junior Mekaela Fithian-Giantonio joined her in double-figures with 11 points, while freshman Beth Laing recorded 10 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Senior Allison Cerrato stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, while classmate Brooke Packard had five points and five rebounds. Freshman Isabella Nerney returned to game action and recorded four rebounds and a pair of assists.
Eastern Nazarene was led by a game-high 23 points and four steals from senior Kayla Torio. Junior Alyssa Cosio Murillo added 16 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while freshman Seniesha Sekaquaptewa recorded 12 points, six rebounds, and nine assists. Senior Michelle Detwiler led the team with eight rebounds on the night.
Nichols shot 27% (17-of-63) from the field in the setback, including 28.6% (8-of-28) from beyond the arc and 80% (4-of-5) at the charity stripe. The Lions knocked down 47.1% (24-of-51) of their shot attempts, while connecting on 30% (6-of-20) of their threes and 89.5% (17-of-19) of their free throws. Eastern Nazarene held a 44-31 advantage in rebounding and turned 17 Nichols turnovers into 25 points, while committing 19 turnovers of their own.
The Bison came out firing to start the game as a three from St. Lawrence staked Nichols to an early 7-2 advantage in the opening quarter. Eastern Nazarene answered with a 12-2 run capped by a pair of Torio free throws to take a 14-9 lead, but back-to-back triples from Fithian-Giantonio and Packard put the Bison back in front 15-14 with 3:41 to play in the first quarter. The two teams traded baskets the rest of the period as the Lions took a 20-19 lead into the second frame.
The offense was a little tougher to come by in the second quarter as the two teams combined to shoot 17.9% (5-of-28) from the field. The Lions had five different players record two points, while St. Lawrence scored all six points for the Bison in the period as Nichols faced a 29-26 deficit at the half.
Both teams found their offense in the third quarter, and a three-pointer from Fithian-Giantonio put Nichols back in front 33-31 early in the stanza. Packard later tied the game at 35-35, and the two teams traded 5-0 runs as a jumper by Fithian-Giantonio knotted the game at 40-all. Eastern Nazarene scored the final six points of the third quarter to take a 46-40 lead after three periods.
The Lions carried the momentum into the final quarter as they shot 63.6% (7-of-11) from the field and hit 9-of-11 free throws to pull away from the Bison. Eastern Nazarene opened the quarter on a 16-3 run and never looked back on the way to the win.
All-Time Series
Nichols and Eastern Nazarene have met 42 times in program history, and the Bison hold a slight 22-20 advantage in the series.