BIDDEFORD, Maine- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team dropped an 81-76 decision at the University of New England Thursday evening at the Harold Alfond Forum.
The Lions slip to 9-5 overall and 3-4 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the loss. The Nor'easters improve to 9-5 on the season and 4-3 in league contests.
Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) registered 17 points off the bench and dished out three assists. Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) posted a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds on the night. Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) each drained four treys in the game to finish with 12 points.
The two teams traded the first 16 points of the game as Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) leveled the score at 8-8 six minutes into play.
After the University of New England established a five-point edge, Eastern Nazarene battled back to tie the game at 16-16 on a triple by Owens midway through the first half.
The Lions reclaimed the lead with 4:13 to go as Owens converted a pair of free throws, 31-30.
The Nor'easters closed out the opening period on a 6-0 run to sport a 39-34 lead at halftime.
Owens paced Eastern Nazarene at the half with seven points while Jeremy Wagner, Justin Wagner and David Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.) all netted six points.
The guests cut the deficit to one just 1:07 into the second half as Eric Lynch knocked down two free throws, 39-38.
A pair of free throws by Owens pulled Eastern Nazarene even with the University of New England at 43-43 with 14:46 remaining.
The home side benefitted from a 13-4 run to nab a nine-point advantage with 12:31 left to play, 56-47.
The Lions clawed back to even the contest at 59-59 on a layup by Gomes with 7:06 on the clock.
The Nor'easters restored their lead to seven with 4:37 to go as Drew Coveney hit a free throw, 70-63.
A dunk by Matt Lettick with 2:47 remaining stretched the University of New England's margin to 10, 76-66.
After two free throws with 22 seconds left put the home team up 79-73, Justin Wagner nailed a three-pointer with 16 seconds on the clock to trim the gap to 79-76.
The Nor'easters secured the win with a pair of free throws by Lettick in the final seconds as the University of New England sank 5-of-8 attempts from the charity stripe in the final minute.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 37.3% while connecting on 38.7% of their attempts from beyond the arc. The Nor'easters shot 48.1% from the floor and 36.4% from long distance.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene welcomes Western New England to the Lahue Physical Education Center January 16.