Men’s Hoops Stymies Salve Regina, Earns Seventh Consecutive Win

Men’s Hoops Stymies Salve Regina, Earns Seventh Consecutive Win

NEWPORT, R.I.- The Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team stretched its season-long winning-streak to seven games Wednesday evening, edging Salve Regina 56-49 on the road.

The Lions improve to 17-4 overall with an 11-4 mark in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the victory. The Seahawks drop to 14-8 on the year and 9-6 in league action with the result.

Sophomore Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) continued his torrid scoring pace, finishing with a game-high 19 points while adding four rebounds and four steals. Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) poured in 10 points and grabbed five boards.

Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) netted seven points and gathered five rebounds while Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) scored five points and collected seven boards. Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) also pulled down a team-best seven rebounds while dishing out three assists on the night.

Eastern Nazarene came out of the gates firing, tallying the first nine points of the game.

Salve Regina clawed back into the game and knotted the score at 13-13 with 9:15 remaining in the half as Brenden Fowler knocked down a jumper.

The Seahawks captured their first lead of the contest with 6:41 to go in the period on a layup by Barrett Hanlon, 17-16.

Justin Wagner converted a pair of free throws to tie the score and put the Lions ahead 20-19 with 3:32 on the clock.

The hosts evened the contest at 22-22 with just over one minute left to play as Tommy Keyes hit a jump shot.

Owens drove to the hole with the clock winding down and banked in a lay-up to beat the buzzer and give the visitors a 25-22 lead at the midway point of the game.

Owens led Eastern Nazarene with 11 first-half points while Eric Lynch registered six points and four rebounds in the opening period.

The Lions connected on 31% of their field-goal attempts in the first frame, including just 2-of-10 from long distance. The Seahawks shot 40.9% from the floor in the half while coming up empty from outside the arc.

Salve Regina drained the opening three baskets of the second stanza to claim a 28-25 lead.

The home side extended its advantage to five with 13 minutes left to play as Nicholas Bates sank the first of two free throws, 36-31.

With 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Eastern Nazarene regained a two-point edge as Jeremy Wagner drilled a trey, 40-38. Brian Hard (Weymouth, Mass.) followed with a three-pointer to push the Lions' advantage to 43-38 with 9:24 on the clock.

Justin Wagner and Owens buried back-to-back baskets with less than six minutes left to play to widen the gap to eight, 50-42.

The visitors chalked up six points in the final 1:30 to hold on for their seventh-straight victory.

The Lions shot 38.6% from the floor on the night, including five three-pointers on 18 attempts. The Seahawks finished the game with a field-goal percentage of 42% despite being held to 2-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc.

Hanlon paced Salve Regina with 14 points while Jeff Bielefeld recorded 10 points and nine boards. The Seahawks were limited to a season-low 49 points in the loss.

Up next, Eastern Nazarene will go for its eighth win in a row as it welcomes Western New England to the Lahue Physical Education Center February 15.