QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team dropped a 79-69 decision to Dean Thursday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions move to 7-9 on the season and 4-3 in the New England Collegiate Conference with the setback. The Bulldogs improve to 11-4 overall and 6-1 in league action with the win.
Ricky Shearman (Acworth, Ga.) poured in a career-high 18 points to go with four rebounds and three assists. Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) tallied 13 points off the bench and recorded a pair of blocks. Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) finished with 12 points, four boards, and three assists.
After four tie scores in the opening eight minutes of action, the hosts claimed their first lead of the night with 11:45 left to play in the first half on a layup by Crandell, 13-11.
Eastern Nazarene extended its advantage to 18-11 as Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) canned a trey with 10:32 remaining in the opening period.
The visitors battled back to level the game at 25-25 with under two minutes to go in the half on a bucket by Dayvon Russell.
Dean closed out the first frame with a 5-1 stretch to own a 30-26 lead at the halftime intermission.
The Lions posted a field-goal percentage of 31.3% in the first half to go with 27.3% from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs shot 50% from the floor and 33.3% from three-point range in the opening 20 minutes of play.
Shearman paced the Lions at the break with nine points while Crandell contributed with six points off the bench.
Dean widened the gap to double-digits with 13:44 remaining in regulation, 49-39, on a layup by Armani Baker.
Eastern Nazarene clawed back with back-to-back three-pointers by Cheney and Shearman to trim the deficit to 49-45 with 12:04 left to play.
The guests pushed their advantage to 12 points with an 8-0 run with 9:32 on the clock, 59-47.
Cheney drilled a three-ball with 1:35 remaining to pull the home side to within seven but Dean hung on to earn its seventh-straight victory.
The Lions shot 40.3% from the floor and 40% from three-point distance on the night. The Bulldogs concluded the contest with a field-goal percentage of 57.6% while connecting on 6-of-13 from long range.
Jordan Booker netted a game-high 30 points to lead Dean while Russell scored 21 and Baker registered a double-double with 18 points and 17 boards.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene travels to Elms January 19.