QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team turned in a strong second-half performance to claw past Wentworth 80-75 Tuesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions improve to 4-4 on the year and 1-2 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the win. The Leopards drop to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in league action with the result.
Anthony Petrilli (Santa Clarita, Calif.) poured in a career-high 23 points while adding four rebounds, two assists and one steal. Corey Doran (Fairfield, Calif.) netted 19 points and grabbed nine boards. Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) finished with 15 points while Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) posted 14 points.
The guests chalked up the game's first five points to grab a 5-0 lead before the home side got on the board 4:34 into the contest as Rice banked in a layup.
Wentworth widened the gap to eight with 10:52 remaining in the opening frame on a free throw by Stephen Azums, 14-6.
Eastern Nazarene cut the deficit to 18-16 as Petrilli nailed a three-pointer with 8:25 left to play in the half.
The Leopards pushed their advantage to six points with 4:27 on the clock on a layup by Matt Vartanian, 28-22.
The Lions trimmed the margin to one on a layup by Doran with two minutes to go in the first stanza.
Wentworth clung to a 35-31 edge at the halftime intermission after Ellis Christmas knocked down a jumper just before the horn.
The Lions owned a field-goal percentage of 40% at the break while draining 2-of-8 from three-point range. The Leopards shot 44% in the opening half despite 1-for-7 shooting from downtown.
The visitors established a double-digit lead with 12:39 remaining in regulation as Azums converted two free throws, 52-42.
The home side strung together a 12-2 run to level the score at 54-54 with 9:29 left to play.
Eastern Nazarene seized its first lead of the game with 9:13 to go as Lynch rolled in a fast-break layup, 56-54.
The two teams traded control of the lead before Petrilli splashed back-to-back treys to give the Lions a 66-62 advantage with 4:56 remaining.
Wentworth pulled even with 2:03 on the clock as Azums sunk two free throw attempts, 71-71.
Petrilli scored six consecutive points to give Eastern Nazarene a 77-72 lead with under 30 seconds to go.
Rice and Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) secured the victory with clutch free throws down the stretch.
The Lions shot 51.9% from the field on the night, including 43.8% from behind the arc. The Leopards finished with a field-goal percentage of 44% while connecting on 4-of-17 from long distance.
Jason Ganley, Dan DeVaux and Azums all poured in 16 points for Wentworth.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene hosts UMass Boston in a non-conference bout December 8.