QUINCY, Mass.- Junior Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) racked up a career-best 36 points to lead the Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team to a pivotal 80-59 victory over Southern Vermont Monday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions improve to 11-9 on the season and moves into sole-possession of second place in the New England Collegiate Conference standings with the win. The Mountaineers tumble to 13-6 overall and 7-4 in league competition with the result.
To go with his 36-point outburst, Crandell registered five rebounds and two assists. Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) tallied 12 points and dished out five assists. Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) netted 11 points off the bench and added four boards and three helpers. Ricky Shearman (Acworth, Ga.) posted eight assists, seven points, and six rebounds on the night.
After conceding the first two points of the game, the hosts went on an eight-point tear to jump ahead 8-2 less than three minutes after the tip.
Eastern Nazarene widened the margin to double-figures, 19-8, with 12:51 left to play in the half on a trey by Crandell.
The visitors cut the deficit to 19-17 on a layup by Josh Borders with 10:26 remaining in the opening period.
The Lions rattled off 10 unanswered points to reclaim a double-digit advantage with 6:50 on the clock, 29-17.
The home team stretched its lead to 16 points with 3:26 left to play in the first as Waldroop drilled a straight-away three-pointer, 37-21.
Southern Vermont closed out the half on an 11-4 run to narrow Eastern Nazarene's halftime lead to 41-32.
The Lions shot 55.2% from the floor and canned 5-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half. The Mountaineers posted a field-goal percentage of 45.8% to go with 30% from three-point range in the opening frame.
Crandell poured in 19 first-half points to lead the home side while Waldroop added seven points and Levi Grady-White (Springfield, Mass.) chipped in with six off the bench.
After Crandell splashed a triple to extend the home team's advantage to 12 to open the second stanza, Southern Vermont trimmed the gap to seven with 16:49 remaining with a 6-2 run.
Eastern Nazarene regained a double-digit margin with 13:05 left to play as Crandell threw down a two-handed jam, 51-40.
The Mountaineers battled back to pull to within five on a trey by Andre Hodo with 5:24 on the clock.
The Lions capped off the contest with an 18-2 run spanning the final five minutes to earn their fourth-consecutive win.
Eastern Nazarene finished the game with a field-goal percentage of 54.5% while connecting on 9-of-20 from long distance. Southern Vermont shot 41.2% and was limited to just 27.8% shooting from behind the arc.
Border paced the visitors with 16 points while Hodo contributed 15 points.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene heads to league-leading New England College January 30.