QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team returned to the winning column with a 79-68 victory over Western New England Saturday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center to overcome a five-game losing streak.
The Lions improve to 10-5 on the season and 4-4 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the result. The Golden Bears move to 5-9 overall and 3-5 in league play with the loss.
Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) led all players with 27 points. Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) recorded his second-straight double-double with 14 points and a team-high 12 boards. Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) finished with 12 points, four steals and four rebounds. Anthony Petrilli (Woodland Hills, Calif.) poured in 10 points while Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) chipped in with six points, six boards, five assists and four steals.
The home team formed an early seven-point gap on a trey by Owens 3:16 into the game.
Eastern Nazarene widened its lead to double-figures with 12:12 left to play in the half as Petrilli canned a three-pointer from the corner, 20-9.
Western New England cut the deficit to three with 5:31 remaining in the first frame on a triple by Mike Gelineau, 27-24.
The guests narrowed the margin to one point, 29-28, as Mikey Pettway converted a pair of free throws with 2:36 on the clock.
The Lions responded with nine consecutive points to reclaim a 10-point lead late in the period.
Eastern Nazarene owned a 38-29 lead at the halftime recess and was paced by Owens' 14 first-half points.
The hosts shot 44.4% from the floor in the opening stanza and 33.3% from three-point range. Western New England held a field-goal percentage of 29.6% at the break to go with 3-of-12 shooting from the perimeter.
The Lions increased their advantage to 16 points as Petrilli drained a trey with 10:47 to go in regulation, 58-42.
The Golden Bears pulled to within eight, 64-56, with six minutes remaining as Nathaniel Martin grabbed an offensive rebound and tossed in a layup.
Eastern Nazarene tallied eight-straight from the charity stripe in the final four minutes and a fast-break layup by Gomes in the waning seconds locked up the home side's 10th win of the year.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 43.8% while connecting on 10-of-29 from beyond the arc. The Golden Bears shot 35.7% from the floor and 25% from long distance on the afternoon.
Western New England was led by Pettway's 20-point effort while Daniel Silva added 10 points and 17 boards.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene travels to the Ocean State to take on Roger Williams January 19.