DUDLEY, Mass.- Behind a near triple-double performance from Emily Irwin (Billerica, Mass.) the Curry College women's basketball team captured its second straight Commonwealth Coast Conference contest with a 68-61 victory over Nichols on Thursday night. With the victory, the Colonels improve to 4-8 overall and 2-3 in conference play. Nichols drops to 1-10 overall and 2-3 in league action.
Curry was able to build a 9-5 lead in the first quarter after a layup by Irwin at the 6:35 mark. Following the basket, the Bison would embark on a 9-0 run to take a 14-9 advantage with 2:41 to go on a three by Taylor Daniels (Dudley, Mass.).
The Colonels knotted up the game at 14 on another layup by Irwin, but on the following possession Daniels splashed home her second three of the quarter to put Nichols up, 17-14. With just two seconds to go in the first stanza Irwin tied the game up once again to make the score 17-17 at the end of the first period.
Nichols began the second quarter on a 7-0 run building a 24-17 lead. After a three by Molly Plunkett (Quincy, Mass.) to pull Curry to within four Irwin helped inch closer when she converted a layup with 5:58 remaining in the first half to cut the deficit to two, 24-22.
The Bison were able to build their lead back up to six points but the Colonels fought back. With 1:58 to go in the half, Irwin made it a two-point game at 32-30 when she splashed home a three. They tied and took the lead following an and-one by Paige Senatore (Ayer, Mass.). Plunkett helped extend the advantage going into the intermission when she made a jump shot with 10 seconds remaining to give Curry a 35-32 lead.
The Colonels would push their lead to as many as 10 in the third quarter. But before the end of the period the lead would be cut in half going into the final quarter.
Nichols trimmed the deficit to as little as one in the fourth quarter when Brittany Donovan (Newport, R.I.) converted a layup and a foul shot to make the score 60-59 with 3:44 to play. But with the Bison run, the Colonels had a run of their own. They finished the game on an 8-2 run to capture their second straight victory.
Irwin posted a game-high 27 points while adding 10 rebounds and seven steals. Plunkett, Nicole Rice (Woburn, Mass.) and Senatore closed out the Curry players in double figures. Plunkett added 17 while Rice and Senatore tallied 12 and 10, respectively.
Daniels led Nichols with 15 points while adding eight rebounds, four steals and three assists. Donovan joined her Daniels as the only other player in double figures in the scoring column for the Bison with 13. Allison Cerrato (Rockland, Mass) and Brooke Packard (Dudley, Mass.) chipped in nine and eight points, respectively, while Anna McDaniel (Taunton, Mass.) added six points, two rebounds and three assists off the bench.
Curry outshot the Bison 34.3% to 31.7% and also had the advantages in the rebounding battle, second chance points, points in the paint and held the largest lead in the contest.
Curry returns to the court on Saturday when they travel to Eastern Nazarene for a 1 p.m. contest while Nichols will next play Saturday at the University of New England at 1 p.m.