Score: Dean College 63, Eastern Nazarene 59
Records: Dean College (8-11, 6-6 NECC), Eastern Nazarene (12-5, 7-3 NECC)
Location: Pieri Gym, Franklin, Mass.
Date: Saturday, January 26, 2019
Time: 2:00 PM
Back and forth action ensued throughout the entire contest, but the Dean College Bulldogs came up with the clutch plays down the stretch to knock off the Eastern Nazarene Lyons 63-59 in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action in Franklin, Mass. on Saturday.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
With just over a minute left in a 56-56 game, the Bulldogs earned a defensive stop. On the ensuing possession, Makayla Rudder (Springfield, Mass.) was fouled and connected on both free throws. On the next trip, Nicole Defosses (Colorado Springs, Colo.) collected a rebound and found Rudder for a layup, pushing the hosts advantage to 60-56. Timely defense and free throws from Iindia Pina (Carver, Mass.) and Rudder helped the Bulldogs hang on for the crucial conference victory.
Dean controlled the first quarter, racing out to a 5-0 lead and leading 21-18 at the end of the first frame. With four minutes to play in the second period, Nicole Romero's (Winchendon, Mass.) three pointer extended the Bulldog lead to seven, their largest of the game. Eastern Nazarene traded baskets with the Bulldogs throughout the rest of the quarter, and Dean headed into halftime with a 32-26 lead.
Trailing 38-32 late in the third period, Eastern Nazarene found their shooting stroke and took control of the game's momentum. The Lyons scored 12 of the next 15 points, including a three pointer at the third quarter buzzer to tie the game at 41 after three periods.
The fourth quarter was tight throughout. Two free throws from Rudder followed by a triple from Allison Buckley (Guilford, Vt.) gave the Bulldogs a 54-47 lead, but the visitors rallied to tie the game at 56 with just over two minutes remanining. The 56-56 tie held until the game's final moments, when the Bulldogs made the neccesary plays to earn the win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
Pina led all scorers with 27 points while also adding six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Rudder finished with a double-double, 18 points and 17 rebounds. Romero added seven points three rebounds and two steals.
Dean travels to Lesley next Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off.