QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team clawed past Endicott 80-78 in overtime Saturday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions improve to 12-5 on the year and 6-4 in Commonwealth Coast Conference action with the win. The Gulls sink to 10-7 overall and 7-3 in the league with the loss.
Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) notched 23 points, four assists, three steals and three rebounds in the game. Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) recorded 23 points, six boards and five steals on the day. David Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.) posted eight points, three rebounds and a pair of assists off the bench.
Endicott grabbed an early eight-point lead just five minutes into the contest as Max Motroni sank a jumper, 13-7.
Eastern Nazarene responded with seven consecutive points to trim the margin to one with 13:31 left to play in the half on a baseline jumper by Eddings, 15-14.
The visitors restored their advantage to eight with 2:11 on the clock, 39-31, as Drew Sawyer drilled a trey.
Eastern Nazarene trailed by eight at the halftime intermission after Endicott's Chris Light drained a jumper at the buzzer, 41-33.
The Lions shot 41.4% from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc in the first frame. The Gulls sported a field-goal percentage of 58.1% through 20 minutes of play to go with 33.3% from three-point range.
Owens paced the home team with 10 points while Gomes chipped in with six points and four steals.
The guests stretched their lead to 12 with 17:42 remaining in regulation on a layup by Rob O'Brien, 47-35.
The hosts chalked up 12 unanswered points to erase the deficit with 13:11 to go in the second stanza. Gomes powered in a layup to tie the score at 47-47.
Endicott bounced back to reclaim a seven-point edge with 8:39 on the clock as Daquan Sampson tossed in a finger-roll layup, 56-49.
Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) splashed a pair of three-pointers two minutes apart to push Eastern Nazarene ahead by one point with 4:03 left to play, 57-56.
The Gulls seized a three-point lead with 2:26 remaining on two free throws by Joel Villa, 62-59.
On the Lions ensuing possession, Gomes rolled in a layup with 2:08 to go to cut the margin to 62-61.
The visitors increased their advantage to three with under a minute left to play in regulation on a pull-up jumper by Kamahl Walker.
With less than 30 seconds on the clock, Gomes nailed his third three-pointer of the season, a step-back triple, to pull the home side level at 64-64.
Eastern Nazarene broke the deadlock 1:17 into the overtime session as Gomes completed a three-point play with a made free throw to give the hosts a 67-64 edge.
Owens netted a three-pointer and a jumper to widen the Lions' gap to six with a minute remaining, 74-68.
Eastern Nazarene converted six free throws in the final 60 seconds of the contest to earn a crucial conference victory.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 43.9% on the afternoon while connecting on 7-of-17 attempts from the perimeter. The Gulls shot 47.7% from the floor in the game and 30.4% from long distance.
Stephen Basden and Sampson both registered double-doubles in the contest for Endicott. Basden poured in a team-high 17 points and snagged 12 rebounds while Sampson finished with 11 points and 15 boards.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene hosts nearby-rival Curry January 27 at 5:00 pm.