QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team topped Curry 82-78 in a hard-fought matchup Saturday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The win propels the Lions to 13-4 overall and 7-4 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The Colonels fall to 4-15 on the year and 3-9 in league play with the loss.
Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) paced Eastern Nazarene with 21 points in the game to go with seven rebounds. Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) poured in 20 points and distributed nine assists. Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) finished with 13 points and a team-best three steals. Senior Brian Hard (Weymouth, Mass.) registered nine points and four rebounds.
Eastern Nazarene opened up a seven-point lead to start the game. Eric Lynch banked in a lay-up 2:12 into the game to push the score to 9-2.
Curry cut the deficit to one with 13:56 remaining in the half as Paul Preziosi tossed in a lay-up, 14-13.
The Lions regained a six-point edge with 10:52 left to play in the period as Owens sank a free throw to complete a three-point play, 24-18.
The Colonels knotted the score at 27-27 as Hunter Snyder scored on a lay-up with 7:47 on the clock. On the visitors' next possession, Thomas McLean knocked down the first of two free throws to give Curry its first lead of the game, 28-27.
Eastern Nazarene established a six-point lead with 3:54 left to play in the half as Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) drained a trey and Owens followed with a jumper, 38-32.
The Colonels evened the contest at 42-42 heading into the final minute of the opening stanza as Snyder completed a three-point play at the charity stripe.
The Lions took a 44-42 lead with less than 30 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws by Eric Lynch.
Curry tied up the score just before halftime as Antonio Jones' lay-up beat the buzzer, leveling the sides at 44-44.
Eric Lynch scored 11 points in the first half to lead the Lions while Owens tallied nine. Jeremy Wagner contributed with eight points in the period and Hard came off the bench to net six points.
The home side shot 57.1% from the floor in the opening frame and 50.0% from downtown. The visitors boasted a field-goal percentage of 52.8% at halftime, despite being limited to 1-of-5 shooting from three-point range.
Curry began the second half on a 7-2 run to grab a 51-46 edge with 18:07 left to play.
Eastern Nazarene jumped ahead by two with 14:36 on the clock as Owens drilled a three-pointer, 53-51.
The Lions widened the gap to five points on a pair of free throws by Owens with 7:23 remaining.
The Colonels answered with five straight points to tie the game at 69-69. The home team responded with a 5-0 stretch to reclaim a 74-69 advantage with 4:20 to go.
The final 13 points of the contest were scored at the charity line as the two squads combined for 19 free throw attempts in the last 3:10.
Eastern Nazarene connected on 49.1% of its field-goal efforts on the afternoon, including 50.0% from beyond the arc. Curry finished with a field-goal percentage of 50.0% to go with 4-for-10 shooting from long distance.
The Colonels were led by Lambros Papalambros with a game-high 27 points.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene will look to claim its fourth consecutive win as it visits Roger Williams February 4.