DUDLEY, Mass. – Junior Kylie Beltz (Pequot Lakes, Minn.) scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Curry College's 50-49 win over Nichols College Tuesday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) women's basketball action at the Nichols Athletic Center.
Junior Amber Litwinko (Berlin, Conn.) scored a game-high 19 points, while classmate Alexis Wegrzynek (Wilbraham, Mass.) added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Bison (9-10, 4-8 CCC), who shot just 29 percent (17-of-59) and were outrebounded 43-34. The defense forced 26 turnovers which the offense turned into 10 points. The Colonels (11-8, 8-5 CCC), meanwhile, recorded more than half of their points in the paint (26).
Beltz recorded her double-double in 39 minutes of action to pace Curry. Sophomore Shannon Griffith (West Hartford, Conn.) filled the stat sheet with seven points, 13 rebounds and two assists.
Nichols trailed by one at the half (23-22) despite shooting just 25 percent in the first half (9-of-25). Litwinko and Wegrzynek each scored 10 points for the Bison while Beltz scored 10 for the Colonels, who led by as many as seven midway through the half. The teams combined for 26 turnovers – 15 for Curry and 11 for Nichols.
Spirka knocked down a three to open the second-half scoring and put the Bison ahead for the first time in the game. Senior Ashley Assarian (Chicopee, Mass.) answered with a triple of her own to put the Colonels ahead until Spirka canned another trey – this one from the right wing – with 4:49 to go to tie the game at 44.
A pair of free throws by Litwinko at 3:07 gave Nichols a 46-45 lead, and with the game tied at 47 with 1:13 remaining, junior Christina Deiorio (Stoughton, Mass.) converted a layup to put the visitors ahead 49-47. Spirka missed a layup at the other end, but a Colonels turnover gave the Bison another chance to tie the game, and Litwinko delivered with a driving layup with 23 ticks on the clock.
On the ensuing Curry possession, Deiorio was fouled with six seconds on the clock, and the team's leading free throw shooter made her second foul shot to make the score 50-49 Curry. Spirka took the inbounds pass, drove the length of the floor, and let go of a running jumper from the lane that hit the back of the rim and fell to the ground.
Curry shot 41 percent for the game and won despite missing nearly half of its attempts from the charity stripe (10-of-18). Deiorio finished her night with six points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Bison host Eastern Nazarene Thursday at 530 p.m. while the Colonels host UMass Dartmouth Thursday at 7 p.m.