BEVERLY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team ran its winning-streak to eight games Saturday, capturing a 71-65 victory at CCC preseason-favorite Endicott Saturday afternoon in a battle of two of the league's top squads.
The Lions, who are receiving votes in the season's first D3Hoops.com National Poll, improve to 8-0 on the year and 2-0 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The Gulls, who were picked to finish atop the league standings in the preseason poll, fall to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) poured in 16 points to lead the guests while adding six rebounds. Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) came off the bench to score 15 points. Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) finished with 13 points, three boards and a pair of assists. Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) hauled in a team-high 10 rebounds on the day and David Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.) chipped in with eight points and seven boards.
Eastern Nazarene used an early 7-0 run to claim a five-point advantage four minutes into the game, 11-6.
After an 11-0 run, Endicott knotted the score at 26-26 with 7:13 left to play in the first half.
Anthony Petrilli (Woodland Hills, Calif.) tossed in a layup with 1:25 remaining in the period to tie the score at 37-37. On the hosts' ensuing possession, Chris Lipscomp made his only bucket of the game to give the Gulls a 39-37 edge at intermission.
Eastern Nazarene tallied six-straight points to start the second half to grab a 41-39 lead with 18:32 to go.
The Lions widened the gap to 51-41 with 14:28 left to play as Justin Wagner drained one of his four three-pointers on the day.
Endicott pulled to within three points with 7:11 on the clock on a layup by Daquan Sampson, 53-50.
The visitors responded with a pair of treys by Justin Wagner to push the margin to 59-50 with 5:33 remaining.
Eastern Nazarene converted seven free throws in the final minute to lock up its eighth-consecutive win and its first victory over Endicott since January 25, 2014.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 39.7% in the contest and drained 31.8% of their three-point attempts. The Gulls shot 40% from the floor on the afternoon and 27.3% from beyond the arc.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene closes out the first semester December 8 at home against Gordon.