QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team absorbed its first home loss of the season, falling 78-69 to Salve Regina at the Lahue Physical Education Center Wednesday evening.
The Lions fade to 10-3 overall and 4-3 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the result. The Seahawks improve to 10-4 on the season and 5-2 in league action with the victory.
Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) led the home side with 21 points to go with four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) finished the game with 17 points, nine assists and two boards. Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) poured in nine points off the bench and grabbed four rebounds. Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) paced Eastern Nazarene with six rebounds on the night.
The visitors claimed a 15-9 advantage 5:30 into the game as Barrett Hanlon knocked down a free throw.
Eastern Nazarene knotted the score at 17-17 with 11:12 left as Gomes grabbed his own rebound and banked in a lay-up.
After Salve Regina grabbed a three-point edge on a trey and a lay-up, Owens drained three-pointer to level the game at 24-24 with 7:07 remaining.
Salve Regina sported a two-point edge at halftime after Joshua Hohlfelder connected on a tip-in just before the buzzer, leading 41-39.
Owens poured in a team-high nine points in the first frame and dished out four assists. Eric Lynch and Gomes each scored eight points in the opening 20 minutes of play while Brian Hard (Weymouth, Mass.) added seven points.
Eastern Nazarene shot 54.8% from the field in the first half and connected on 3-of-6 from downtown. Salve Regina sank 48.4% of its field-goal attempts in the half, including 4-for-11 from beyond the arc.
The Seahawks strung together eight unanswered points to grab a 55-46 edge with 13:14 on the clock. Nicholas Bates knocked down a jumper to cap off the 8-0 run.
The Lions erased an 11-point deficit utilizing a 9-0 stretch to trim the margin to 66-64 with 3:02 remaining.
Salve Regina scored seven points in the final minute of play to widen its lead to 78-68 with 28 seconds to go.
Eastern Nazarene concluded the contest with a field-goal percentage of 42.4% to go with 25.0% shooting from behind the arc. Salve Regina shot 49.1% from the floor and 33.3% from three-point distance.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene welcomes Gordon to the Lahue Physical Education Center January 18.