SPRINGFIELD, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team grinded out a 77-65 victory at Western New England Saturday afternoon.
The Lions improve to 17-6 on the season and 11-5 in Commonwealth Coast Conference action. The Golden Bears dip to 8-15 overall and 6-10 in the league.
Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) poured in 18 points to lead the team. Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) posted a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards. Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Anthony Petrilli (Woodland Hills, Calif.) each netted nine points.
The two teams traded buckets before Eastern Nazarene jumped out to an 11-7 edge on a jumper by Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) with 15:35 remaining in the first half.
The Lions extended their lead to nine with 12:17 to go in the half as Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) sank the second of two foul shots, 18-9.
A pair of free throws by Gomes with 8:18 to go capped off a 7-0 run that widened the visitors' margin to 27-14.
With 5:10 left to play in the opening stanza, Eastern Nazarene increased its advantage to 34-18 on a layup by Christian Lynch.
Western New England ended the first half on a 9-0 stretch to cut the Lions' halftime lead to 40-33.
The guests reclaimed a double-digit lead with 14:08 to go on a layup and ensuing free throw by Eric Lynch, 54-42.
The Golden Bears cut the deficit to five, 64-59, as Zack Askew knocked down a jumper with 6:34 remaining.
The Lions answered with a three-point play by David Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.) before pushing their lead to 71-61 with 4:53 left to play on a layup by Gomes.
Eastern Nazarene scored the final five points of the game while stalling Western New England's offense for the final three minutes to lock up its fourth-straight win.
The Lions concluded the contest with a field-goal percentage of 49.1% to go with 52.9% shooting from beyond the arc. The Golden Bears shot 37% on the day and 45.5% from the perimeter.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene welcomes the University of New England to the Lahue Physical Education Center February 16 in the final home game of the regular season.