QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team absorbed an 85-81 loss to UMass-Boston Tuesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions slip to 0-4 overall with the setback while the Beacons improve to 4-0 on the season.
Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) notched a team-best 21 points while adding five rebounds, five assists, one block, and one steal. Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) poured in 19 points and hauled in six boards. Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) finished with 17 points while David Lopez (Miami, Fla.) contributed nine points.
A three-pointer by Rice followed by a fast-break layup by Ricky Shearman (Acworth, Ga.) pushed the home team ahead 15-7 with 14:36 remaining in the first half.
UMass-Boston cut the deficit to 23-22 with 9:25 to go in the opening frame on a dunk by Malik Lorquet.
The Beacons grabbed their first lead of the game with 6:31 to go in the first period, 26-25, as Javaris Hill tossed in a layup.
Eastern Nazarene battled back to tie the score at 30-30 on a layup by Rice before claiming a 32-30 edge as Rice converted two free throws with 3:48 left to play in the half.
The Lions jumped ahead 41-40 with seven seconds remaining in the first frame as Crandell knocked down a jumper.
The visitors seized a two-point lead at the halftime horn as Michael Boyd drilled a last-second three-pointer, 43-41.
Eastern Nazarene shot 56% from the floor and 45.5% from behind the arc in the first half. UMass-Boston posted a field-goal percentage of 48.6% at the break to go with 5-of-10 shooting from three-point distance.
Crandell and Rice each tallied 12 first-half points to lead the Lions while Waldroop added six.
In a back-and-forth start to the second stanza, the two teams combined for seven lead changes and two tie scores in the first five minutes of play.
Eastern Nazarene captured a 60-57 advantage with 12:36 to go in regulation as Rice splashed a three-pointer.
UMass-Boston reclaimed the lead with 9:37 remaining as Boyd sank two free throws before stretching the gap to 76-68 with 5:12 left to play on a trey by Charles Mitchell.
The hosts trimmed the margin to three with 50 seconds on the clock, 84-81, as Crandell swished three shots from the charity stripe.
The visitors tacked on a free throw by Boyd with 23 seconds to go to seal their fourth win in a row.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 49.2% to go with 10-of-25 from beyond the three-point line. The Beacons shot 50.8% from the floor on the night, including 35.3% from deep.
Boyd paced UMass-Boston with 21 points while Charles Mitchell collected 14 points and Lorquet chipped in with 12 rebounds and eight points.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene hosts Maine-Presque Isle November 24 in its fourth-straight home game.