CHICOPEE, Mass. – Elms College senior forward Erika Murphy (Torrington, Conn.) poured in a game-high 22 points and added 13 rebounds to lift the Blazers to a 69-53 victory over Becker College in Tuesday evening's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball game at Picknelly Arena.
With the win, Elms improves to 7-4 on the season, 4-0 in NECC play, while Becker slides to 1-9 overall, 1-3 in NECC action.
Leading 9-6 with 14:23 to play in the first period, Elms exploded for a 24-7 run over the next seven minutes that featured 10 points from Murphy, four points each from freshman forward Denisha Parks (Fall River, Mass.) and junior guard Jennifer Normandie (Westford, Mass.), and three points apiece from senior guard Carolyn Talmadge (Wilbraham, Mass.) and sophomore guard Taylor Darby (Bristol, Conn.) to give the Blazers a commanding 33-13 lead with 6:25 to play in the half.
Becker pulled to within 18 on a pair of Chelsea Joubert (Westborough, Mass.) foul shots at the 1:12 mark but a layup by Normandie and sophomore forward Nicolette Martin (Colchester, Conn.) gave Elms a 45-23 lead at the break.
Elms increased its lead to 24 points and maintained at least a 20-point cushion over the first 7:04 of the second stanza to build a 54-33 lead until the Hawks rallied for eight of the next 11 points to shrink the Blazers' advantage to 16 points (57-41) on a Tatiana Mojica (Worcester, Mass.) jumper with 10 minutes to play in the game.
Elms extended its lead back to 20 points and Becker could get no closer than 16 points as Elms finished the game with a 69-53 victory.
Elms shot 35.0-percent from the field for the game including a 40.9-percent clip in the first 20 minutes. The Blazers outscored Becker 42-24 in the paint, scored 27 points off 30 Hawks' turnovers, scored 16 second chance points and received 27 points off the bench to help seal its fourth conference victory.
Normandie finished with 12 points off the bench while Parks added 11 points to give Elms three players in double figures. Darby added eight points in 16 minutes of action off the bench, while Murphy and Parks helped the Blazers own a 52-42 advantage in rebounds by tallying 13 boards apiece.
Talmadge was an offensive spark, dishing out eight assists, while Darby, Parks and Normandie combined for 13 of the team's 19 steals.
Joubert collected 15 points in the loss for Becker, while Mojica tabbed 13 points. Kristina Desnoyers (Adams, Mass.) chalked up a team-best 10 rebounds, while Michelle Griczika (Barre, Mass.) finished with eight points and seven boards.
Elms returns to NECC action on Thursday, Jan. 12 when it hosts Regis College at 7:00 p.m. at Picknelly Arena.