SPRINGFIELD, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team eked out a 61-58 victory at Western New England Saturday afternoon.
The Lions improve to 8-7 on the season and 5-3 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The Golden Bears slip to 2-12 overall and 1-7 in league competition with the result.
Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) paced the visitors with 17 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Corey Doran (Fairfield, Calif.) netted 10 points and grabbed five boards. Anthony Petrilli (Santa Clarita, Calif.) chipped in with seven points while Patrick Michel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) both added six points.
Eastern Nazarene jumped out to an 8-3 lead after early treys by Petrilli and Rice.
Western New England cut the deficit to 10-9 with 14:32 remaining in the first half as Mike McCourt tossed in a layup.
The Lions stretched the lead to seven with 1:51 left to play in the half on a three-pointer by Nathan Vazquez (Weymouth, Mass.).
The guests clung to 31-27 advantage at the break after shooting 56.5% from the field and 62.5% from behind the arc in the first frame.
Eastern Nazarene widened the gap to 39-29 with 15:27 to go in the second stanza as Michel banked in a layup.
Western New England narrowed the margin to 41-39 with 12:14 left to play on a lay-in by Mike McGuire.
The Lions restored their lead to double-digits with 5:11 remaining as Petrilli sank a free throw, 53-43.
The Golden Bears clawed back to trim the deficit to 54-53 on a jumper by Nick DeGennaro with 2:22 on the clock.
Eastern Nazarene outlasted Western New England in the final two minutes to earn its fourth win in a row.
The Lions posted a field-goal percentage of 55.8% on the day while draining 5-of-13 attempts from long range. The Golden Bears shot 34.5% from the floor and 31.0% from the perimeter.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene eyes its fifth-straight victory as it hosts the University of New England January 17.