BOSTON, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team notched a 74-68 win over Colby in the first round of the UMass-Boston Harbor Invitational Friday evening to clinch a spot in the championship game Saturday.
The Lions remain undefeated at 6-0 on the year, matching last season's start of six consecutive victories. The Mules fall to 4-2 overall with the loss and move on to face the College of St. Joseph in Saturday's consolation tilt.
Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) turned in a team-high 20 points on the night while also registering seven rebounds, six steals and five assists. Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) posted 13 points, nine rebounds, five blocks and three assists. Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) tallied 17 points and three boards while Corey Doran (Fairfield, Calif.) finished with 11 points off the bench.
Colby established a seven-point advantage with 16:08 remaining in the first half as Ryan Jann knocked down one of his four treys in the game, 13-6.
Eastern Nazarene poured in 14 unanswered points to narrow the margin to 36-35 with 2:28 left to play in the first frame.
The Mules capped off the opening half on a 5-2 run as the Lions trailed at the midway point of the contest 41-37.
Owens paced Eastern Nazarene at halftime with 13 points and six boards while Eric Lynch chipped in with 10 points and Doran added eight.
The Lions seized their first lead of the evening with 17:24 to go in the second half as Jarman banked in a layup, 47-46.
Colby reclaimed a two-point edge with 9:49 remaining in regulation, 56-54, as Chris Hudnut converted four straight free throws.
Eastern Nazarene leveled the score at 61-61 with 5:11 left to play as Owens sank the first of two shots from the charity stripe.
The Lions utilized a string of six consecutive points to gain a 72-66 lead with 24 seconds on the clock.
Owens netted a pair of free throws with 10 seconds to go to close out Eastern Nazarene's sixth victory of the season.
The Lions connected on 43.8% of their field-goal attempts in the contest while draining 31.2% of their three-point efforts. The Mules shot 44.4% from the floor on the evening and 50% from beyond the arc.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene will battle unbeaten UMass-Boston November 29 in the title game of the Harbor Invitational.