BOSTON, Mass.- Despite a career-night by rookie David Lopez (Miami, Fla.), the Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team dropped a 78-72 decision at UMass-Boston Thursday evening.
The Lions fall to 3-6 on the season with the loss while the Beacons improve to 6-5 overall.
Lopez posted his first collegiate double-double, finishing with career-highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) poured in 15 points and grabbed three boards. Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) netted 11 points, gathered six rebounds, and dished out five assists. Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) chipped in with seven points and Luke Dagley (Weymouth, Mass.) added six points on 2-for-2 shooting from three-point range.
After a closely-contested start to the contest, the home side built up an eight-point advantage with 7:44 left to play in the first half, 28-20.
The visitors bounced back with eight-consecutive points by Lopez followed by a three-pointer by Waldroop to capture a 31-28 edge with 5:26 remaining in the opening frame.
UMass-Boston chalked up nine points in a row to reclaim the lead with three minutes to go in the half, 37-31.
Eastern Nazarene pulled even at 37-37 with 1:51 on the clock as Rice knocked down a mid-range jumper.
The two teams headed into the intermission knotted at 39-39
The Lions shot 42.4% from the floor and 33.3% from beyond the arc in the first half. The Beacons posted a field-goal percentage of 48.1% in the opening period while connecting on 4-of-5 from long distance.
UMass-Boston netted three-straight buckets to grab a seven-point advantage with 14:14 remaining in the game, 54-47.
The home team pushed its lead to double-figures for the first time on the night with 3:32 left to play in regulation, 75-64, as Dasan Cinelli banked in a layup.
The Beacons converted just 3-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final minute to secure the non-conference win.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 41.5% to go with 41.4% shooting from behind the three-point line. UMass-Boston shot 50% from the floor on the night and 60% from downtown in the game.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene returns to the hardwood December 30 to host Lyndon State in a non-conference tuneup.