Men’s Basketball Fends Off Second-Half Rally to Defeat Wentworth, 62-57

Men’s Basketball Fends Off Second-Half Rally to Defeat Wentworth, 62-57

QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team eked out a 62-57 win over Wentworth Tuesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center.

The victory lifts the Lions to 12-1 on the year and 5-1 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The Leopards drop to 6-7 overall and 4-2 in league games with the setback.

Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) poured in a game-best 14 points while added five assists, three steals and three rebounds. Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) netted 13 points and grabbed four boards.

Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) finished with 11 points, five boards and three assists on the night.

The two squads traded control of the lead for the opening seven minutes. Eastern Nazarene strung together eight unanswered points to claim a 17-11 edge with 10 minutes left to play in the half.

The hosts extended their advantage to 20 points with 46 seconds on the clock as Eric Lynch finished off a three-point play from the charity stripe, 43-23.

Wentworth's Cesar Fulcar banked in a half-court heave at the buzzer to pull the halftime score to 43-26.

The Lions were led by Justin Wagner with 13 first-half points. Eric Lynch tallied nine points in the opening 20 minutes of action while Corey Doran (Fairfield, Calif.) chipped in with eight points off the bench.

Eastern Nazarene shot a sizzling 55.2% from the floor in the opening frame, to go with 44.4% shooting from long distance. Wentworth connected on 36.7% of its field-goal attempts in the first frame and 33.3% of its three-point efforts.

The Leopards utilized a 13-0 run to cut the deficit to six points with 5:22 left to play in the contest, shrinking the gap to 55-49.

After Jarman converted 1-of-2 free throw attempts to push the lead to 58-51, Wentworth responded with a trey by Ben Kizel with 3:12 remaining to narrow the margin to 58-54.

Owens set up Jarman for a lay-in to increase the Lions' advantage to 60-54 with 41 seconds on the clock.

The guests inched closer with a three-pointer by Sam Knollmeyer with 11 seconds to go to minimize the deficit to 60-57.

Owens sealed the victory in the final seconds of the game as he nailed his only two free throw attempts on the night.

The Lions turned in a field-goal percentage of 41.1% on the evening while draining 33.3% of their three-point tries. The Leopards shot 40.4% from the floor, including 37.5% from the perimeter.

Wentworth was led by Fulcar with 12 points in the game while John-Michael Fragnoli contributed with 10 points and six boards.

Up next, Eastern Nazarene will visit Salve Regina January 15.

Before the start of the contest, Eastern Nazarene recognized Jaylen Owens after the junior scored his 1,000th career point in the Lions' 83-47 victory at Western New England January 10. Owens is the 30th player in program history to amass 1,000 career points.