Men’s Basketball Cruises by University of New England, 78-61

Men’s Basketball Cruises by University of New England, 78-61

BIDDEFORD, Maine- The Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team captured a 78-61 victory at the University of New England Wednesday evening.

The Lions jump to 12-4 overall and 6-4 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the win. The Nor'easters slump to 1-17 on the season and 1-10 in league play with their 11th straight loss.

Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) tied a career-high with a team-best 14 points on the night while also registering five assists and four rebounds. Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) finished with 11 points and three steals. Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) recorded 10 points and six assists while Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) chipped in with nine points and a side-high 6 boards. Brian Hard (Weymouth, Mass.) and Zach Tonello (Bourne, Mass.) also tallied nine points each in the victory.

Eastern Nazarene established an early 12-4 lead as Justin Wagner drilled a trey with 15:53 left to play.

The Lions maintained a double-digit margin throughout the first frame. The visitors widened the gap to 21 points late in the half as Hard knocked down a three-pointer with 1:16 remaining,  50-29.

The Lions boasted a 50-31 advantage at the midway point of the match.

Hard, Tonello and Jeremy Wagner all netted nine points in the opening frame for the visitors. Justin Wagner and Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) both chipped in with eight points in the first period.

Eastern Nazarene shot 51.7% from the field and sank 10-of-16 from three-point distance in the first half. The University of New England sported a field-goal percentage of 38.2% at the break to go with 30.0% shooting from behind the arc.

The Nor'easters scored the first seven points of the second half to cut the deficit to 50-38 with 16 minutes to go.

The home team pulled to within seven with 9:48 remaining in regulation on a trey by William Abdul-Malak, 60-53.

The Lions responded with nine points by Gomes to reclaim a 69-55 edge with 5:48 left to play.

Eastern Nazarene closed out the game with nine points in the final five minutes of action to seal the team's second-straight win.

The Lions concluded the contest with a field-goal percentage of 46.3%, including a 46.2% effort from long range. The Nor'easters shot 38.3% from the floor on the night and 33.3% from beyond the arc.

Up next, Eastern Nazarene returns home to square off against local rival Curry February 1.