QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team suffered an 89-79 setback to Western New England Tuesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions drop to 3-4 on the year and 0-3 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the loss. The Golden Bears improve to 2-5 overall and 1-2 in league competition with the win.
Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) scored a team-best 21 points while adding six rebounds, four assists, and one block on the night. Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) and Brenndan Rogers (Hanson, Mass.) both chipped in with 10 points. Trey'von Davis (Moore, S.C.) notched nine points and grabbed nine boards while David Lopez (Miami, Fla.) posted nine points off the bench. Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) dished out 10 assists, tallied six points, and gathered six rebounds in the contest.
The home team captured a four-point lead with 12:26 remaining in the first half as Rogers splashed a three-pointer, 13-9.
The visitors jumped ahead 19-17 on a three-point play by Zach Tavitian with 8:06 left to play in the opening frame.
Eastern Nazarene reclaimed the lead with 4:17 to go in the half as Rice drilled a trey, 31-29. The Lions extended their advantage to six points as Cheney followed with a triple and Rogers converted the second of two free throws with 2:46 on the clock, 35-29.
Western New England chalked up seven consecutive points to seize a 36-35 edge with 1:15 remaining in the first frame.
After the Golden Bears pulled level with five seconds left to play in the half, Waldroop dribbled coast-to-coast before floating in for a layup just before the buzzer to give the Lions a 40-38 halftime advantage.
The home side shot 56.5% from the field and 53.8% from three-point distance. The guests connected on 43.3% of their field-goal attempts in the first half and sank just 3-of-14 from behind the arc.
Eastern Nazarene widened the gap to 47-40 just over two minutes into the second stanza as Davis powered in a layup.
Western New England grabbed a one-point lead with 12:06 remaining on a pair of free throws by EJ Day, 57-56. The Golden Bears stretched the margin to seven with 10:30 to go in regulation as Mike McGuire drilled back-to-back treys, 63-56.
The visitors pushed their advantage to double-digits with 8:02 left to play as McGuire knocked down his third triple of the game, 73-62.
Western New England maintained a double-figure lead throughout the remainder of the contest to earn its first conference win of the season.
The Lions shot 51.0% from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc on the night. The Golden Bears finished with a field-goal percentage of 48.3% to go with 37.0% shooting from long range.
Mikey Pettway led four players in double-figures for Western New England with 24 points while Tavitian added 18 points.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene hosts Dean December 7 in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.