BY JOHN CATALONI // Feb. 18, 2018 //
The Curry College women’s basketball team capped off their senior night with a 48-39 win over Eastern Nazarene in a low-scoring affair as both teams were jockeying for seeding position.
Curry took control of the game early when they received a huge lift from sophomore guard Samantha Bamford who came off the bench four minutes into the game. She had an instant impact by forcing turnovers and turning up the defensive pressure, adding four rebounds, four assists, and two steals in 29 minutes.
In addition to Bamford, junior guard Emily Irwin scored eight of her team-high 14 points in the first quarter to give the Colonels the 16-11 advantage at the end of the first.
The offense struggled in the second quarter as the team shot 4-of-14 from the field only managing 10 points but luckily their defense tightened up to hold the Lions to just four points, going up 11 at the half.
Adversity struck the Colonels late in the third when junior forward Molly Plunkett went down with an ankle injury that sidelines her for the fourth quarter, forcing reserves to step up.
Eastern Nazarene started the fourth on an 11-0 run, cutting the Colonels’ to just one. Irwin derailed the run with a three of her own and the Lions wouldn’t score a point for the rest of the game.
For Curry it was a huge moment for both seniors Nicole Rice and Stephanie Rizzo who played their last home game for Curry on Saturday.
“It was a good way to finish my four years here,” said Rizzo who is usually a bench player but drew the start on her senior night.
Bamford, the usual starter, was happy to step into that bench role for her team on Saturday.
“There is no other way I’d want them to go out,” said Bamford. “They work really hard.”
Prior to the game the Colonels held a one game lead over both Eastern Nazarene and Gordon so it was crucial for Curry to secure the win and remain the sixth-seed in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) playoffs.
The Colonels will travel to third-seeded Endicott College on Tuesday for the first round of the tournament. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
- Curry’s defense forced 25 turnovers while scoring 15 points off them en route to their win.
- Eastern Nazarene’s Shelby Holmes scored a game high 17 points while earning a double-double.
- The win officially secured the CCC scoring title for Irwin who led the conference with 18.2 points-per-game.