QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team fell to Nichols 79-67 Saturday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions slump to 9-4 on the year and 3-3 in Commonwealth Coast Conference play. The Bison improve to 9-3 overall and 3-2 in the league.
Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) led all players with 19 points while adding five rebounds, four steals and a pair of assists. Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) notched 16 points, seven boards, four blocks and three assists. David Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.) and Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) each finished with eight points.
After three free throws by Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) knotted the game at 5-5, the visitors chalked up five straight points to gain a 10-5 advantage with 14:30 left to play in the half.
Eastern Nazarene tied the score at 15-15 on a jumper by Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) just before the midway point of the period.
The Lions seized a two-point edge with 5:37 remaining as Gomes knocked down a bucket, 24-22.
Jeremy Wagner drained his only trey of the game with 36 seconds on the clock to increase the hosts' lead to 32-28.
The Bison pulled to within two heading into the halftime intermission as Nate Tardy converted a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left to play, 32-30.
Eastern Nazarene connected on 40.6% of its field-goal attempts in the first half, including 3-of-15 from the perimeter. Nichols shot 26.3% from the floor in the opening frame and 20% from three-point range.
Gomes led the Lions with eight points through 20 minutes of action while Eddings and Owens each chipped in with six points.
The guests built up a double-digit lead with under 11 minutes to go in the contest, 52-41, as Gustave Koumare banked in a fast-break layup.
Nichols outscored Eastern Nazarene 49-35 in the second half to collect its third conference win of the season while handing the Eastern Nazarene its fourth loss in a row.
The Lions shot 45.6% from the floor and 22.7% from beyond the arc on the day. The Bison finished with a field-goal percentage of 40.5% to go with 22.6% shooting from long distance.
Koumare paced Nichols with 18 points while Marcos Echevarria tallied 16 and Tardy added 15 off the bench.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene looks to right the ship as it heads north to take on the University of New England January 14.