QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team earned a thrilling 93-88 victory over Gordon Saturday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions improve to 8-15 on the season and 4-12 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The Fighting Scots fall to 15-8 overall and 11-5 in league action with the result.
Prior to the start of the contest, the Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball program recognized seniors Micah Simmons-Smalls (Kingston, N.Y.) and T.J. Vazquez (Weymouth, Mass.) who were playing their final games at home.
Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead the team. Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) poured in 18 points while T.J. Vazquez tallied a career-high 13 points in his first career start. Brenndan Rogers (Hanson, Mass.) chipped in with 13 points and five boards off the bench. Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) recorded 12 points, seven assist, and three steals.
The visitors chalked up eight of the first 10 points to grab an 8-2 edge just over a minute into the game.
The home team responded with a 9-0 run to capture an 11-8 lead with 16:21 left to play in the first half.
The two squads traded control of the lead before Gordon strung together nine consecutive points to claim a 34-27 advantage with 5:15 remaining in the opening frame.
The Fighting Scots widened the gap to 15 with 2:27 on the clock as Garrisson Duvivier completed a three-point play at the charity stripe, 47-32.
T.J. Vazquez splashed a long-range at the horn as the hosts trailed 49-43 at the break
Eastern Nazarene shot 50% from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc in the first half. Gordon posted a field-goal percentage of 65.5% and connected on 5-of-11 from long distance in the opening frame.
T.J. Vazquez paced the Lions with 11 points while Rice poured in 10 points in the first half.
The Fighting Scots regained a 15-point margin with 17:42 remaining in the second stanza after draining three treys to start the half, 58-43.
The hosts clawed back to trim the gap to single-digits with 8:39 left to play, 74-66, as Rogers canned a three-pointer.
Eastern Nazarene seized the lead with 3:23 to go on a corner three by Cheney, 83-82.
Gordon leveled the score on a trey by Eric Demers with 2:10 remaining, 85-85.
The Lions converted 8-of-8 attempts from the free throw line in the final minute to clinch the win.
Eastern Nazarene finished with a field-goal percentage of 51.6% while sinking 14-of-29 three-point attempts. The Fighting Scots shot 55% from the floor and 40.7% from behind the arc on the day.
Demers paced Gordon with 25 points while Duvivier netted 15 points.
Looking ahead, the Lions head to league-leading and regionally-ranked Nichols February 13.