LEICESTER, Mass. – Elms College senior forward Erika Murphy (Torrington, Conn.) and freshman forward Denisha Parks (Fall River, Mass.) combined for 48 of the Blazers' 65 points, but Becker College used a late second-half rally to complete a thrilling 69-65 come-from-behind victory in Wednesday evening's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's basketball game in Leicester, Mass.
With the loss, Elms moves to 16-8 overall, 13-4 in league play, while Becker improves to 8-16, 8-9 in NECC action.
Trailing by 10 (60-50) with 8:11 remaining in the contest, Becker used a 13-0 run, capped by a Jacqueline Chila (Monroe, Conn.) jumper at the 3:28 mark to give Becker a 63-60 lead – its first advantage of the game.
Parks hit the front end of two free throws, and Murphy then hit two foul shots to knot the game at 63-63 with 2:06 to play in regulation, before Kristina Desnoyers (Adams, Mass.) put the Hawks ahead by two with a basket underneath to set the score at 65-63. Two more free throws by Parks evened the game at 65-65 with 1:26 on the clock. From there, Elms lost a turnover and was forced to foul and the Hawks converted four foul shots to seal a 69-65 victory.
Murphy finished with a game-high 26 points including 18 in the opening 20 minutes of action. The Blazers shot at a staggering 53.6 clip in the first frame and built a 35-19 lead with time winding down in the period. Becker kept the contest close, scoring 13 of the final 18 points to pull the Hawks to within eight at intermission (40-32).
Becker carried over its late first-half momentum with three quick baskets in the paint to start the second half, pulling the Hawks to within four at 42-38. Elms then scored eight unanswered points including a layup from Murphy to go up 12 with 14:36 remaining in the game.
Becker rallied with nine consecutive points, as a 3-point play from Chelsea Joubert (Westborough, Mass.) narrowed the Hawks' deficit to five followed by a baseline jumper courtesy of Melissa Rhodes (Mendon, Mass.) to shrink the lead to three (50-47) with 10:49 left.
The Blazers took command again with a 10-3 run to establish a 10-point advantage after a sophomore guard Emily Boucher (Ashburnham, Mass.) trey, setting the stage for Becker's final comeback.
Murphy finished with 11 rebounds and three steals in addition to her 26 points, while Parks had 22 points and hauled in a game-high 13 boards.
Tatiana Mojica (Worcester, Mass.) netted a team-high 14 points for Becker, while Chila and Rhodes finished with 12 points apiece. Desnoyers and Joubert chipped in 10 points each to give the Hawks five players with double-digit point totals.
Elms concludes regular season action on Saturday, Feb. 18 with a NECC matchup against Wheelock College at 2:00 p.m. at Picknelly Arena.