QUINCY, Mass.- In its first year as a member of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC), the Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team secured a NECC Tournament first-round bye and a semifinal home game. The second-seeded Lions will face No. 6 seed Newbury Thursday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center in the NECC Semifinals.
HOW THEY GOT HERE:
Eastern Nazarene finished the regular season with a 14-11 overall record to go with an 11-5 mark in the New England Collegiate Conference. Newbury posted a 11-13 record in the regular season with a 6-10 league mark.
Eastern Nazarene is making its sixth playoff appearance in the last seven years, having reached the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament semifinals in three times in the past seven seasons. The Lions boast an all-time postseason record of 16-14.
2018-19 ENC VS. NEWBURY RUBBER MATCH:
The two teams split the two regular-season meetings this year. Eastern Nazarene knocked off Newbury 87-78 at home January 15. The Nighthawks earned a 94-88 win on their home court February 9. The two teams have met 14 times on the hardwood with each team earning a seven victories.
Juniors Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) and Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) were both tabbed to the All-New England Collegiate Conference second team. Senior Nathan Vazquez (Weymouth, Mass.) earned a spot on the NECC Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team.
LONG DISTANCE CALLING:
Juniors Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) and Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) own the top two shooting percentages from behind the arc in the NECC. Crandell leads the league with a 52.4% clip from long range while Waldroop is second in the conference with a three-point percentage of 45.2%. Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) has splashed a team-high 61 three-pointers this season. The trio has combined for nearly 68% of the Lions' made treys this year, connecting on 144 shots from beyond the arc.