QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team overpowered New England College Thursday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center, leading wire-to-wire to earn a 104-78 victory.
The Lions improve to 2-0 on the season while the Pilgrims drop to 1-2 overall.
Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) poured in a game-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. Anthony Petrilli (Woodland Hills, Calif.) scored 14 points off the bench while Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) finished with 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) posted his first double-double of the season, recording 10 points and 10 boards. Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) notched nine points and dished out eight assists.
The hosts sprinted out to a 14-2 lead just over three minutes into the contest, capped off by a layup by David Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.).
The guests cut the deficit to three, 16-13, with 12:43 left in the first period on a trey by Jake Vickery.
Eastern Nazarene regained a double-digit margin with 9:04 to go in the half as Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) knocked down a triple from the left corner, 25-15.
The Lions closed out the first half with 17 unanswered points to carry a 31-point advantage into the halftime intermission, 59-28.
Justin Wagner led the home team with 12 points at halftime while Petrilli scored 11 points in the opening frame.
Eastern Nazarene shot 48.9% from the floor and a sizzling 57.1% from downtown. New England College connected on 34.4% of its field-goal attempts in the first half, including 3-of-10 from behind the arc.
The Lions eclipsed the 100-point plateau with 3:45 remaining in regulation as TJ Vazquez (Weymouth, Mass.) tossed in a layup, marking the first 100-point effort for Eastern Nazarene since the 2014-15 season-opener at New England College. The bucket also widened the hosts' lead to 36, its largest margin of the game, 100-64.
The Pilgrims strung together a 14-4 run in the final 3:31 to narrow the final score to 104-78.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 47.7% on the night to go with 16-of-34 shooting from long distance. The Pilgrims shot 46.7% in the game and 45.5% from three-point range.
Dezron Wilson paced New England College with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene will battle MIT for the first time since 2003-04. The Lions and Engineers will meet November 21 at Rockwell Cage in Cambridge, Massachusetts at 2 pm.