QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team collected a 128-102 victory over the University of New England Tuesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center, one point shy of matching the program record for most points in a game set in 1971-72.
The Lions climb to 5-7 on the year and 1-4 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the win. The Nor'easters fall to 4-8 overall and 2-3 in league action with the loss.
Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) notched his second double-double of the season, finishing with 30 points and 10 rebounds to go with five assists. Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) scored 27 points and dished out five assists. Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) chipped in with 16 points and four helpers. David Lopez (Miami, Fla.) registered 12 points, eight boards, and five assists. Trey'von Davis (Moore, S.C.) added 10 points off the bench while Micah Simmons-Smalls (Kingston, N.Y.) netted nine points.
The home side sprinted out to a 10-0 lead as Cheney and Rice both tallied five points in the opening three minutes of the contest.
The visitors cut the deficit to seven with 13:19 left to play in the first half as Ryan Matthews banked in a layup, 19-12.
Eastern Nazarene widened the gap to 16 with 9:20 remaining in the opening period, 30-14, on a layup by Cheney.
Rice splashed a trey just before the halftime horn to stretch the Lions' lead to 57-39 at intermission.
Eastern Nazarene shot a sizzling 63.6% from the floor in the opening half while draining 7-of-15 from three-point range. The University of New England posted a field-goal percentage of 37.8% and was limited to just 4-for-19 shooting from behind the arc in the first frame.
The home team extended its advantage to 22 points with 16:51 left to play in regulation on a lay-in by Simmons-Smalls, 67-45.
The Nor'easters trimmed the margin to 11 with 14:34 to go in the game, 71-60, as Daron Hoges, Jr. knocked down back-to-back three-pointers.
The Lions eclipsed the 100-point plateau with 6:50 remaining in the second half on a floater by Simmons-Smalls, 100-83.
Eastern Nazarene stretched its lead to 117-93 as Lopez tossed in a fast-break layup off of a feed from Rice.
Jacob Hickey sank a three-pointer with 1:33 to go in the game as the University of New England reached triple-digits on the scoreboard, 122-101.
The hosts outscored the Nor'easters 6-1 down the homestretch to secure their first conference win of the season.
The Lions finished with a scorching field-goal percentage of 70.6% in the game while also connecting on 12-of-22 from beyond the arc. The Nor'easters shot 42.0% from the floor and 33.3% from long distance.
Gavin Dibble paced the visitors with 14 points off the bench while Hoges and Jordan Bagshaw both recorded 11 points on the night.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene hits the road for a league matchup at Roger Williams January 11.