Score: Dean College 56, Becker College 45
Records: Dean College (7-4, 4-0 NECC), Becker College (7-5, 3-1 NECC)
Location: Pieri Gymnasium, Franklin, Mass.
Date: Thursday, January 11, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM
Dean College used a suffocating defense that held visiting Becker to just four second quarter points on their way to a 56-45 win over the Hawks in a matchup of the two top teams in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) on Thursday evening.
Nicole Romero (Winchendon, Mass.) scored a career-best 15 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter to lead Dean to victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Bulldogs led wire-to-wire as they held Becker to just 26 percent shooting (13-for-50) and forced 34 turnovers.
Ahead 21-10 at the end of the first quarter, Dean clamped down and didn't allow the Hawks to score for almost the first eight minutes of the second while harassing them into an 0-for-9 stretch from the field and into committing seven turnovers.
As dominant as Dean was in the second, Becker was as equally in control in the third stanza, using a period-long 19-6 run that at one point had them within one at 33-32 following three free throws from Cassidy Harrison (Foxboro, Mass.).
Dean never relinquished the lead and went into the fourth quarter in front 37-33 following an Iindia Pina (Carver, Mass.) steal and Jamaya Cleveland (Greensboro, Ga.) finish.
Romero took over for the Bulldogs in the opening portion of the final quarter, scoring seven straight points to help push the Dean advantage back to double figures and when Morgan Turner (Winter Park, Fla.) found her inside for another hoop, suddenly the Bulldogs were ahead 50-38.
Dean was still holding on to a double digit lead when Cleveland ended any hopes of a comeback with a steal and breakaway finish with a little more than two minutes left to give the Bulldogs a comfortable 56-40 advantage.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
For Becker, Harrison totaled 17 points before fouling out, while Sarah Ware (Oakham, Mass.) posted a double-double of 11 points and 11 boards. Adrianna Dowdy (East Haven, Conn.) had a dominating performance on the glass, hauling in 24 boards to go along with four points and four assists.
In addition to Romero, the Bulldogs got 12 points, seven rebounds, six steals and five assists from Pina, while Turner notched a double-double of her own with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Becker will be in action on Saturday when they host Newbury, while Dean is off until Tuesday when they travel to Mitchell College for a 6:00 PM tipoff.