BRISTOL, R.I.- Junior Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) buried a three-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation to propel the Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team to a thrilling 56-55 victory at Roger Williams University Tuesday evening.
The Lions improve to 10-1 on the season and 3-1 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the result. The Hawks fall to 4-7 overall and 2-2 in league games with the loss.
Owens scored a game-high 23 points off the bench to go with five boards and four steals. He sank five of his nine field goals in the contest from behind the arc and scored the Lions' final 10 points of the game.
The visitors raced out to a 7-0 edge to start the game while holding the home team bucketless for the opening 3:23.
Roger Williams leveled the score at 13-13 on a layup by Josh McCourt before a triple by McCourt gave the hosts a 16-13 lead with 10:31 left to play in the half.
Eastern Nazarene bounced back with eight consecutive points to claim a 21-16 advantage with 7:12 remaining.
The Lions trailed the Hawks by five points at the half, 29-24, after Roger Williams closed out the first half on a 13-3 run.
Owens paced the visitors with seven first-half points and five rebounds. Jarman grabbed eight boards in the opening frame and added four points. Eric Lynch netted five points in the first period while Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) each tallied three points.
The Lions drained 34.5% of their shots in the opening 20 minutes of action while being limited to 3-of-11 shooting from three-point land. The Hawks knocked down 39.3% of their field-goal attempts in the first half.
Eastern Nazarene pulled to within one point as Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) connected on a three-pointer with 16:04 on the clock.
The guests tied the game at 35-35 on a trey by Owens from the right corner with 12:57 left to play.
Roger Williams established a 44-38 lead with 8:25 to go as Josh Syska converted a pair of free throws.
After a free throw by the Hawks, Owens sank a step-back jumper to slice the margin to 53-50 with 42 seconds remaining.
The hosts' Andrew Wasik made one of two free throws to widen the lead to 54-50 with 41 seconds on the clock.
Owens drilled a three-pointer from the left corner to narrow the gap to 53-54 with 24 seconds left to play.
Ryan Palumbo sank the first of a pair of shots from the charity stripe to extend Roger Williams' edge to 55-53 with 20 seconds to go.
With less than five seconds left to play in regulation, Owens knocked down a trey from the left wing to vault the Lions to a one-point lead, 56-55.
The Hawks' last second half-court heave was off the mark as Eastern Nazarene escaped with the nail-biter victory.
The Lions posted a field-goal percentage of 34.5% on the evening to go with 30.8% shooting from long range. The Hawks shot 34.0% from the floor and 22.2% from beyond the arc in the game.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene will host Wentworth January 8 in a rematch of last season's CCC quarterfinal matchup.