QUINCY, Mass.- Behind a career-high 36 points by Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.), the Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team topped Wentworth 83-80 Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions improve to 15-6 on the year and 9-5 in Commonwealth Coast Conference play with the win. The Leopards sink to 11-10 overall and 9-5 in league action.
Along with his career-best 36 points, Owens added eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) poured in 20 points and pulled in eight boards. Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) finished with 12 points and four rebounds in the game.
The hosts built up a seven-point advantage with 13:48 to go in the first frame as Gomes powered up a layin, 15-8.
Eastern Nazarene stretched the margin to 17 points on a trey by Owens, 29-12.
Wentworth's Jason Ganley banked in a layup to cut the deficit to 43-29 entering the halftime break.
The Lions boasted a field-goal percentage of 58.6% while draining 4-of-6 attempts from beyond the arc. The Leopards shot 40% from the floor in the opening half and 16.7% from long range.
Owens netted 15 first-half points to lead the home side while Gomes tallied 12 points
The visitors erased the double-digit gap with 4:39 left to play on a three-pointer by Ben Kizel to tie the score at 71-71.
Eastern Nazarene responded with a basket by Owens before two free throws by Justin Wagner (Oklahoma, City, Okla.) to reclaim a four-point edge with 3:58 remaining, 75-71.
After Wentworth trimmed the lead to three, the Lions pushed the cushion to five points on a put-back layup by Gomes, 82-77.
The Leopards pulled to within two as Kyle Romich tossed in a layup with under a minute to go in regulation followed by a free throw by Romich with eight seconds on the clock.
Eastern Nazarene sealed the victory as Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) drilled the first of two attempts from the charity stripe.
The Lions shot a sizzling 56.7% from the floor and 60% from the perimeter. The Leopards finished with a field-goal percentage of 50.9% to go with 10 three-pointers on 25 attempts.
Prior to the start of the game, the Eastern Nazarene men's basketball program recognized its five seniors: Gomes, Eric Lynch, Owens, Justin Wagner and Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.).
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene will host Roger Williams February 10.