BIDDEFORD, Maine- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team dropped a 105-96 decision at the University of New England Wednesday evening.
The Lions slide to 7-13 on the season and 3-10 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the setback. The Nor'easters improve to 9-11 overall and 7-6 in league competition with the win.
Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) poured in 20 points as he sank six three-pointers while also grabbing eight rebounds. Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) finished with 19 points and Brenndan Rogers (Hanson, Mass.) netted 18 points and hauled in eight boards. David Lopez (Miami, Fla.) registered 12 rebounds and tallied nine points. Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) chipped in with eight assists, four points, four boards, and three blocks on the night.
Eastern Nazarene established an early 10-6 lead on a layup by Rogers with 17:33 remaining in the first half.
The Lions extended their advantage to 22-14 with 13:20 left to play in the opening frame as Luke Dagley (Weymouth, Mass.) splashed a three-pointer.
The University of New England strung together a 10-0 run to jump ahead 24-22 with 10:26 to go in the half.
The Nor'easters widened the margin to 37-30 on a trey by Drew Muniz with 7:29 remaining in the opening period.
The visitors cut the deficit to one as Rogers gathered an offensive rebound and knocked down a jumper with 5:42 on the clock.
With 3:26 left in the first half, the home side extended its lead to 49-40 on a three-pointer by Ryan Matthews.
The University of New England stretched its advantage to double-figures on a basket by Jackson McCoy with 1:14 remaining in the opening half.
Eastern Nazarene trailed 53-48 at the midpoint of the contest.
The Lions shot 61.5% from the floor and connected on 5-of-7 from long distance in the opening 20 minutes of action. The Nor'easters owned a field-goal percentage of 39.2% at the break to go with 28% shooting from behind the arc.
Rogers paced the visitors with 12 points and five rebounds in the first half while Lopez added seven points and eight boards.
A strong start to the second stanza lifted Eastern Nazarene to a 55-53 edge with 17:31 left to play.
The University of New England responded with an 11-2 run to claim a 64-57 lead with 15:20 to go in regulation.
The Lions pulled to within nine on a layup by Waldroop with 3:36 remaining, 93-84.
The Nor'easters fended off the visitors down the stretch to lock up their seventh conference win of the year.
Eastern Nazarene shot 54.4% from the floor while the University of New England finished with a field-goal percentage of 38.8% in the game. Both squads made 15 three-pointers on the evening.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene visits Endicott February 3.