QUINCY, Mass.- Fueled by a career-high 29 points by Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.), the Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team extended its winning-streak to six games with a 71-61 victory over Wentworth Saturday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions rise to 16-4 on the season and remain tied for second-place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with a 10-4 mark. The Leopards slide to 10-11 overall and 7-7 in league games with the loss.
Owens led all scorers with 29 points in the contest while adding five assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals. The sophomore guard drilled five three-pointers in the game on nine attempts.
Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) chipped in with eight points and three assists off the bench. Senior Brian Hard (Weymouth, Mass.) and Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) each netted seven points in the win. Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) paced Eastern Nazarene on the glass with seven boards while Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) recorded six points and six rebounds.
The Lions surged out to a 10-2 lead 4:48 after the opening tip, capped off by a trey by Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.).
The home team stretched its advantage to nine points with 11:17 left to play on a lay-in by Hard, 17-8.
Wentworth battled back to cut the deficit to two with 7:32 remaining, 17-15, on a layup by Ian Therriault. The Leopards tied the game at 19-19 on a pair of free throws by John-Michael Fragnoli with 5:24 to go in the half.
Eastern Nazarene claimed a one-point edge with 14 seconds left to play as Owens buried a three-pointer, 26-25.
The Lions clung to a 26-25 lead at the halftime break.
Owens poured in a team-best nine points in the opening stanza while Hard tallied four points.
Eastern Nazarene shot 35.7% from the field in the first half and 30% from long distance. Wentworth connected on 34.6% of its shot attempts in the opening period, while being limited to just 1-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Lions opened the second half on a 12-2 run en route to establishing an 11-point advantage, 40-29.
The Leopards trimmed the margin to five points with 4:43 remaining in the contest as Nico Donato tossed in a lay-up, 52-47.
Eastern Nazarene restored its lead to double-figures with two minutes to go in the game as Eric Lynch banked in a lay-up, 59-49.
Both squads tallied 12 points in the final two minutes as the Lions picked up their sixth-consecutive victory.
The Lions concluded the contest with a field-goal percentage of 46.3% after posting a 57.7% shooting performance in the second half. The home side drained five treys in the second stanza on nine efforts to finish with shooting percentage of 42.1% from downtown.
Wentworth finished the game with a 42.4% field-goal percentage on the day, to go with 22.2% shooting from outside the arc.
Rookie Jherson Colon led the visitors with 19 points while Donato finished with 14.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene heads to Newport, R.I. to square off against Salve Regina February 12.