QUINCY, Mass. – The New England College women's basketball team won their second straight New England Collegiate Conference Championship, following the Pilgrims 84-81 win over Eastern Nazarene College Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Pilgrims move to 21-6 overall, while the Lions season comes to a close at 21-4.
The Lions started the game out quickly as they scored just two seconds in. Despite the early score, the Pilgrims were able to respond but the Lions went on to hold a 17-15 lead five minutes in. The scoring started early and continued from there as the quarter closed out with things knotted up at 30-30.
The competitive play and scoring continued in the second quarter as NEC held a 38-27 lead with five minutes to play in the half. The Pilgrims then gained some momentum and were able to close out the high scoring half with a 45-42 lead.
New England College carried their momentum into the third quarter as they were up 53-47 halfway through. Despite the Pilgrims' best efforts they could not pull away as Eastern Nazarene was able to stick around. The trend continued for the remainder of the quarter as NEC went into the fourth up 64-58 as they eyed another championship.
The Lions started to gain some momentum of their own as they were able to chip away and cut the lead to one at 70-71 with five minutes to play. New England College kept pace but Eastern Nazarene was able to take the lead at 77-76 with 1:21 to play. In the final minute of the game, each team traded baskets as it was hard to tell who was going to come away with the victory. The Pilgrims were able to claim the final lead off a layup from Asia Jones with 23 seconds to play. The Lions then turned the ball over and Haleigh Martin hit two free throws with seven seconds left to ice it for an 84-81 victory.
Rene Hudson paced the Pilgrims with 19 points and added 5 assists. New England College had four different players with double digits in a very balanced offensive game.
The Pilgrims tie their record for wins in a season with 21 wins which they have done two other times (2014-15 and 2016-17). With the win, NEC is now 19-17 all-time against the Lions.
The Pilgrims will move on to the NCAA Tournament and find out where and when they play after the selection show on Monday, March 2nd.
2020 NECC Women's Basketball All-Tournament Team
MVP- Asia Jones, New England Col.
Rene Hudson, New England Col.
Stevie Orton, Eastern Nazarene
Kyra Fleharty, Eastern Nazarene
Cassidy Harrison, Becker
Le'Sandra Turner, Mitchell
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC began competition in the 2008-09 academic year and current member institutions compete across 15 sports. The NECC membership focuses on providing athletic competition among institutions that share similar academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sports. Current members include Bay Path University, Becker College, Dean College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Lesley University, Mitchell College and New England College.
(Story courtesy of NEC Sports Information)