QUINCY, Mass.- Juniors Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) combined for 51 points to propel the Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team to an 88-73 non-conference victory over Wheelock in the first home contest of the season Tuesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions improve to 2-0 on the year with the win while the Wildcats drop to 1-2 overall.
Owens paced the home team with 28 points while adding four rebounds and four assists. Eric Lynch finished with 23 points, seven boards, five steals and four assists on the night. Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) chipped in with nine points, four rebounds, three helpers and two steals off the bench.
Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) posted eight points, four rebounds and three steals while Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) recorded four assists, four steals and three points. Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) registered six points and seven boards and Corey Doran (Fairfield, Calif.) contributed with six points and six rebounds.
Eastern Nazarene scored 15 of the first 19 points to claim a 15-4 advantage with 16:18 left to play.
Wheelock pulled to within one with eight minutes remaining in the half, 25-24, as Joe Reedy knocked down a jumper.
The Lions stretched the margin to 11 points with 3:10 to go in the stanza on a layup by Christian Lynch, 42-31.
The Wildcats ended the first period on a 9-5 run as the hosts clung to a seven-point edge at halftime, leading 47-40.
Owens led Eastern Nazarene at the break with 15 points while Eric Lynch poured in nine points in the first half. Christian Lynch added seven points in the opening frame and Doran tallied six boards and six points.
The Lions shot 46.5% from the floor in the first period and drained 5-of-11 from three-point distance. Wheelock owned a field-goal percentage of 53.6% at the midway point of the game.
The visitors grabbed a one-point lead 2:14 into the second half as Nichols Fenton sank a three-pointer, 51-50.
Eastern Nazarene responded with nine unanswered points to sport a 59-51 advantage.
The home side maintained a sizeable gap en route to securing its second victory of the 2014-15 campaign.
The Lions posted a 49.3 field-goal percentage on the evening while shooting 50% from long range. The Wildcats connected on 50% of their shot attempts in the game, including 40% from beyond the arc.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene will host the annual ENC Holiday Classic November 21 and 22. The Lions will take on Green Mountain College November 21 in the first round before UMaine-Presque Isle and St. Joseph's Brooklyn square off in the second game.