Men’s Basketball Tops Gordon 75-66, Secures No. 2 Seed in CCC Playoffs

Men’s Basketball Tops Gordon 75-66, Secures No. 2 Seed in CCC Playoffs

WENHAM, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team picked up a 75-66 victory at Gordon Saturday afternoon in the final game of the regular season.

The win marks the Lions' first victory over the Fighting Scots since the 2007-08 season and the first win at Gordon since the 2000-01 campaign.

Eastern Nazarene finishes the regular season owning a 19-5 overall record with a 13-5 mark in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The Fighting Scots fall to 14-10 on the year and 12-6 in league action.

Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) tallied a career-best 18 points and hauled in nine boards off the bench to lead the Lions.

Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) and Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) each poured in 16 points while adding two rebounds. Owens also dished out five assists and recorded a pair of steals in the win while Jarman notched two blocks.

Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) finished with 11 points, five assists and four rebounds while Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) registered eight points and five boards on the day.

The visitors claimed an early 6-2 edge just 1:21 into the contest.

Eastern Nazarene increased its lead to 15-7 with 15:27 remaining as Jeremy Wagner converted a free throw.

Gordon cut the deficit to 19-16 with 10:55 to go in the half as Alex Carnes sank a lay-in.

The Lions built a double-digit advantage with 6:20 left to play in the period as Jarman knocked down a midrange jumper, 30-20.

The visitors widened the margin to 16 points, 40-24, as Brian Hard (Weymouth, Mass.) drilled a triple with 2:22 on the clock.

Gomes nailed a jumper inside the paint as the first-half clock wound down, giving Eastern Nazarene a 42-28 lead at intermission.

Jarman paced Eastern Nazarene at halftime with 12 points while Jeremy Wagner scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds. Gomes and Justin Wagner each poured in six points in the opening frame.

The Lions connected on 48.5% of their field-goal attempts in the first half, including 4-of-14 from behind the arc. The Fighting Scots shot 46.2% from the floor in the opening period and drained just one trey on five tries.

The hosts started the second stanza with a 8-2 spurt to trim the gap to 44-36. Eastern Nazarene halted the run with a lay-up by Gomes and a baseline jump shot by Jarman to restore the lead to 12, 48-36.

Gordon battled back to pull to within two with 10:48 left to play as Dominic Paradis tossed in a lay-up, 50-48.

The Fighting Scots gained a one-point edge on a Taylor Bajema lay-in with 7:24 to go, 57-56.

Eastern Nazarene reclaimed control of the lead with 3:45 remaining as Justin Wagner nailed one of his two three-pointers on the day, 65-63.

After the Lions extended their advantage to five on a jumper by Owens, Carnes converted a pair of free throws to cut the home team's deficit to three with 1:23 left to play, 69-66.

The visitors chalked up six unanswered points in the final minute of the game to seal the win. Owens tallied four points on a lay-up and two free throws while Justin Wagner dropped in two shots from the charity stripe.

The Lions shot 49.4% from the floor on the afternoon and 26.3% from beyond the arc. The Fighting Scots finished the game with a field-goal percentage of 44.4% to go with 36.4% shooting from long range.

Up next, Eastern Nazarene returns home to host a Commonwealth Coast Conference playoff game for the second straight season. The second-seeded Lions will take on Wentworth, the seventh-seeded squad, in the quarterfinals February 25.