QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team racked up a season-high 13 three-pointers en route to capturing a 74-57 victory over the University of New England Wednesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions surge ahead to 15-7 on the season and 9-6 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the win. The Nor'easters drop their fourth-straight contest to move to 4-18 overall and 3-12 against league opponents.
Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) paced Eastern Nazarene offensively with 18 points as he drained a season-best six treys. Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) chipped in with 13 points off the bench while Brian Hard (Weymouth, Mass.) buried three triples on the night to finish with 11 points.
Chima Ezeigbo (Roanoke, Va.) added seven points and grabbed seven boards for the hosts. Mike McCoy (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) scored seven points and Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) distributed a team-high nine assists to go with five steals.
Devin Thompson tallied 14 points and seven rebounds to lead the University of New England while Jesse Dykstra contributed 10 points.
Eastern Nazarene netted the first four points of the game and grabbed a quick 7-2 edge.
The Lions stretched their lead to double-digits with 13 minutes left to play as Hard connected on a trey, 18-8.
The Nor'easters narrowed the margin to five points with nine minutes to go in the half as Sam Simpson nailed a three-pointer, 22-17.
Eastern Nazarene answered with 13 straight points, including back-to-back-to-back triples by Justin Wagner, to escalate the lead to 18 with six minutes left to play.
The visitors pulled to within a dozen in the final minute of the opening period as Thompson tossed in a fast-break lay-up.
The Lions headed into the locker room with a 42-30 advantage after draining 46.7% of their shot attempts in the first frame and 8-of-18 from behind the arc.
Justin Wagner led the home team at intermission with 15 points after knocking down five treys in the opening 20 minutes of action. Lynch recorded eight points in the first half while Aaron Johnson (Roslindale, Mass.) poured in five.
Eastern Nazarene widened the gap to 25 with 12 minutes remaining in the second stanza, 62-37.
The University of New England cut the deficit to 14 with less than six minutes remaining in regulation, 65-51, on a layup by Thompson.
Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) drained his lone bucket of the game, a three-pointer from the left wing, with 2:29 left to play to push the Lions' lead to 73-54.
On the night, Eastern Nazarene shot 40.0% from the floor and 44.8% from three-point distance. The University of New England connected on 45.8% of its shot attempts and just 21.1% from long range.
The Lions resume conference play with a key tilt at Western New England February 9.