WENHAM, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team suffered a 56-49 setback at Gordon Saturday afternoon. The Lions sink to 14-7 overall and 8-6 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the loss. The Fighting Scots improve to 15-6 on the year and 10-4 in league contests.
With four games left to play in the regular season, Eastern Nazarene remains in fourth place in the conference standings.
Chima Ezeigbo (Roanoke, Va.) paced the visitors with 17 points and seven rebounds. Mike McCoy (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) added eight points and three boards while Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) registered seven points and three assists. Aaron Johnson (Roslindale, Mass.), Max Barbosa (Dorchester, Mass.) and Brian Hard (Weymouth, Mass.) all finished with five points.
A 7-0 run gave Gordon an 11-4 lead after the opening five minutes of action.
Eastern Nazarene chipped away at the deficit throughout the first frame and trimmed the margin to two just before halftime as McCoy drained a pair of free throws, 23-21.
The Fighting Scots owned a two-point edge at intermission.
The visitors were led by Ezeigbo with 10 points and four boards through 20 minutes of action. McCoy tallied four first-half points while Owens netted three. Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Hard each collected two points in the opening frame.
The Lions knotted the score at 23-23 as Ezeigbo knocked down a jumper 46 seconds into the second stanza.
Eastern Nazarene gained a two-point lead with 16:22 remaining in the half as Ezeigbo poured in two points, 29-27.
Gordon pushed ahead by seven, 44-37, with 7:19 left to play after stringing together a 9-1 run.
The visitors narrowed the gap to three with 5:45, 46-43, on a jump shot by Owens. The hosts answered with six unanswered points to stretch their lead to nine, 52-43, with 2:16 remaining.
The Lions netted five consecutive points to pull to within four, 53-49, with less than a minute to go. Barbosa converted three free throws and Johnson tossed up a lay-in.
The Fighting Scots nailed 3-of-4 shots from the charity stripe in the final 24 seconds of the contest to earn the win.
Eastern Nazarene shot 28.1% from the floor and 15% from downtown. Gordon finished with a field-goal percentage of 48.9% while connecting on 2-of-7 from three-point land.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene returns home to take on the University of New England February 6 as part of its Breast Cancer Awareness Night. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the games for a chance to win a prize.