QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team expanded its season-long winning-streak to six games with a 94-76 victory over Endicott Saturday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions leap to 12-3 on the season and 7-2 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the outcome. The loss drops the Gulls to 7-9 overall and 2-7 in league play.
Rookie Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) paced Eastern Nazarene with 18 points and five boards. Freshman Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) scored 12 points and hauled in a game-high eight rebounds. Senior Mike McCoy (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) recorded 12 points and four assists.
The two squads traded ownership of the lead in the opening stages of the contest. The Lions sank back-to-back buckets to take a 12-8 edge with 15:23 remaining.
Eastern Nazarene stretched its lead to 10 with 11:24 left to play in the half as Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) buried his lone three-pointer of the game, 21-11.
Endicott used a 7-0 run to trim the deficit to two points, 23-21, with 8:15 to go in the opening period. The Lions responded with seven-unanswered points to push the lead to nine, 30-21, with 7:03 on the clock.
Eastern Nazarene clamped down defensively in the waning moments of the first frame and came up with a defensive rebound with eight seconds left to play. Jarman grabbed an offensive board off of a missed lay-up by Lynch and banked in a lay-in as time expired to give the hosts a 47-39 advantage at the break.
At the half, Jarman led Eastern Nazarene with 10 points and five rebounds off the bench. Lynch registered eight first-half points while Owens tallied six.
The Lions shot 47.2% from the field in the opening frame and 33.3% from beyond the arc. The Gulls sported a field-goal percentage of 45.2% at the half to go with 4-of-7 shooting from long distance.
Eastern Nazarene extended its lead to 10 points on two occasions in the first five minutes of the second stanza. Hard drained a trey to push the score to 54-44 2:11 into the period and Max Barbosa (Dorchester, Mass.) knocked down his only three-pointer of the day with 15:13 remaining to lift the score to 62-52.
The Lions utilized a 10-1 run to lengthen the margin to 17, 78-61, with 7:42 left to play. Aaron Johnson (Roslindale, Mass.) capped off the run with one of his two triples in the contest.
The home team claimed its largest lead of the afternoon with just over a minute on the clock. Justin Wagner found Lynch under the hoop with a no-look feed as Eastern Nazarene widened the gap to 20, 94-74.
After a series of three-consecutive offensive rebounds in the final minute of action, the Gulls' Eddie Danek laid in his only basket of the day to pull Endicott to within 18.
The Lions recorded 24 second-chance points while limiting Endicott to just seven. Eastern Nazarene's bench accounted for 53 points in the victory while the visitors' reserves contributed 36 points.
The home side finished the game with a field-goal percentage of 50.0%, including 40.7% from three-point range on 11-of-27 shooting. The Gulls nearly matched the Lions with 49.2% shooting in the contest and 40.0% from downtown.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene will visit non-conference foe UMaine-Presque Isle in the final non-league tilt of the season January 21.