QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team recovered from a slow start to capture a 76-74 victory over Endicott Saturday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions improve to 11-4 on the season and 5-4 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The Gulls drop to 13-4 overall and 7-3 in league action with the decision.
Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) finished with a game-high 26 points while adding six rebounds and five assists. Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) poured in 16 points off the bench and grabbed seven rebounds. Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) contributed with 13 points and three assists in the game. Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) registered seven rebounds and came up with a crucial rejection in the final seconds of the contest.
The visitors built a 20-8 lead in the opening 10 minutes of the game.
Eastern Nazarene outscored Endicott 29-17 in the final 10 minutes of the first frame.
The Lions chipped away at the deficit and knotted the score at 27-27 with 4:26 left to play in the period as Jarman knocked down a jump shot.
The hosts grabbed their first lead of the afternoon with 3:52 remaining on a three-pointer by Zach Tonello (Bourne, Mass.), 30-29.
Eastern Nazarene pushed its advantage to four with 1:35 on the clock as Gomes drained a jumper, 37-33.
The Lions headed into the intermission clasping to a 37-35 edge.
Owens paced the home team at halftime with 16 points while Gomes tallied eight points and four boards.
Eastern Nazarene shot 41.2% from the field in the first half and 23.1% from beyond the arc. Endicott sported a field-goal percentage of 40.0% at the break, to go with 1-for-5 shooting from long distance.
The Gulls reclaimed a four-point lead with 17:14 to go in the regulation as Kamahl Walker completed a four-point play, 47-43.
The visitors extended their advantage to seven with 9:33 left to play, 62-55, on a lay-in by Stephen Basden.
The Lions battled back to seize a 71-70 edge with 2:56 on the clock as Gomes banked in a lay-up.
Endicott responded with a lay-up by Lachlan Magee to go ahead 72-71 with 2:21 to go.
The hosts bounced back to reclaim a 74-72 lead with 1:58 remaining as Justin Wagner drilled a trey.
The Gulls leveled the game at 74-74 with 1:33 left to play as Magee converted a pair of free throws.
Eastern Nazarene regained a two-point advantage with 35 seconds on the clock on a jumper by Owens, 76-74.
After the Lions missed a free throw, Endicott raced up the floor in search of a late basket. Jarman denied Endicott's last second effort with an emphatic block on a lay-up bid by John Henault to seal the win.
Eastern Nazarene concluded the game with a field-goal percentage of 39.2% while connecting on 11-of-35 from three-point range. Endicott shot 44.6% from the floor on the day and 36.4% from behind the arc.
Up next, the Lions head north to battle the University of New England January 29.