Men’s Hoops Defeats Elms on Senior Day, Clinches First-Round Bye

Men’s Hoops Defeats Elms on Senior Day, Clinches First-Round Bye

QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team capped off the 2018-19 regular season with a commanding 80-49 victory over Elms Saturday afternoon on Senior Day.

The Lions close out the regular season with a 14-11 overall record to go along with an 11-5 mark in the New England Collegiate Conference and clinch a top-two finish in the league standings. The Blazers finish the year with a 3-22 overall record and a 2-14 conference mark.

Prior to the start of the contest, Eastern Nazarene honored the program's lone senior Nathan Vazquez (Weymouth, Mass.).

Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) tallied a game-high 19 points and hauled in four boards. Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) recorded 11 points and dished out four assists. Christian Garcia (Miami, Fla.) posted eight points, five rebounds, and four assists. Vazquez notched seven rebounds, four points, and a team-best three steals. Osbourne Traill (Valley Stream, N.Y.) and Patrick Michel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) both chipped in with seven points off the bench.

The home team established a 10-2 lead less than four minutes into the contest.

Eastern Nazarene extended its advantage to 13 points with 12:37 to go in the first half as Lopez capped off a 7-0 run with a layup, 17-4.

The Lions stretched the margin to 20 with 3:26 on the clock as D'Eric Marlowe (North Las Vegas, Nev.) banked in a jump shot, 32-12.

Traill sank a baseline-runner before splashing a corner three-pointer just before the halftime horn to give the hosts a 37-19 lead at intermission.

Eastern Nazarene posted a field-goal percentage of 40% in the first half to go with 5-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc. Elms was limited to just 24.1% from the floor in the opening frame while coming up empty on eight attempts from long range.

Cheney netted eight points in the first period to lead the Lions while Levi Grady-White (Springfield, Mass.) notched six points and six boards and Crandell scored six points.

The hosts canned back-to-back three-pointers to start the second stanza and widen the gap to 43-19.

The visitors cut the deficit to 18 points with 9:43 remaining in regulation, 54-36, on a layup by DJ Edelen.

Eastern Nazarene strung together a 10-0 run late in the contest to secure the win and its 14th win of the year.

The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 44.6% and connected on 9-of-20 attempts from downtown. The Blazers shot 29% from the floor and 23.1% from behind the arc on the day.

David Lopez Jr., Will Leach, and Edelen all netted eight points to lead Elms.

By virtue of clinching the No. 2 seed in the NECC Tournament, Eastern Nazarene earned a first-round bye and will host a semifinal game February 21.