QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team notched a 100-84 win over Gordon Tuesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center to match last season's 9-0 start.
The Lions, who garnered six votes in the latest D3Hoops.com National Poll released Tuesday afternoon, improve to 3-0 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with their ninth-consecutive victory. The Fighting Scots progress to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in league play with the loss.
Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) poured in 20 points off the bench and dished out seven assists. Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) also netted 20 points while grabbing six rebounds and coming away with four steals. Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) finished with 16 points, four boards, three steals and three assists. Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) added 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds on the night.
Eastern Nazarene started the game strong, opening up an 11-4 lead less than five minutes into the contest.
Gordon erased the seven-point deficit with a 12-0 run to seize a 16-11 edge with 12:39 left to play in the half as Noah Szilagyi knocked down a triple.
The Lions tied the score at 22-22 with 9:41 remaining and reclaimed a 24-22 advantage with 8:06 to go on a fast-break layup by Owens which sparked a 22-8 run as the hosts built up a 15-point margin with 5:35 left in the first frame.
Eastern Nazarene carried an 11-point lead into the halftime intermission, 54-43. Owens paced the Lions at the break with 13 points while David Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.) and Gomes each chipped in with eight points.
Eastern Nazarene boasted a field-goal percentage of 51.2% in the first half while draining five three-pointers on 12 efforts. Gordon shot 58.6% from the floor in the opening frame and a sizzling-60% from long distance.
The visitors shaved the gap to six with 14:25 remaining in regulation on another trey by Szilagyi, 65-59.
The home team restored its lead to double-figures on eight-unanswered points, 73-59.
The Lions expanded the margin to 17 after a pair of free throws by Owens with 6:11 on the clock, 88-71.
Eastern Nazarene eclipsed the triple-digit mark for the second time this season as Christian Lynch buried a free throw in the waning seconds of the game.
The hosts parlayed Gordon's season-high 25 turnovers into 35 points and outscored the guests 16-0 in fast-break points.
The Lions shot 47.9% from the floor and 44.4% from behind the arc on the night. The Fighting Scots finished with a field-goal percentage of 51.6% while connecting on 11-of-23 attempts from the perimeter.
Sam Johnson paced Gordon with a double-double, scoring 16 points and collecting 11 boards. Garrisson Duvivier also posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jaren Yang and Szilagyi each finished with 14 points while Eric Demers contributed with 12 points.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene returns to action January 2 as it hosts nationally-ranked Worcester Polytechnic Institute.