QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team rattled off its fifth win in a row as it hung on for a 65-62 win over the University of New England Tuesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions improve to 9-7 on the year and 6-3 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the victory. The Nor'easters move to 5-11 overall and 3-6 in league play with the result.
Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) tallied a game-high 22 points while also adding six boards and three assists. Corey Doran (Fairfield, Calif.) netted 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. Anthony Petrilli (Santa Clarita, Calif.) notched 12 points and dished out six assists. Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) chipped in with 10 points while David Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.) finished with nine boards, six assists, and four points.
After a back-and-forth start, the home side strung together a 9-0 run to build a 12-7 lead with 14:26 left to play in the first half.
Petrilli splashed his second trey of the game with 11:51 to go in the opening frame to extend Eastern Nazarene's advantage to 23-12.
The University of New England narrowed the deficit to one with 2:27 on the clock, 31-30, as Drew Muniz knocked down two free throws.
Eastern Nazarene clung to a one-point edge at the half, 36-35, after shooting 51.9% from the field and outscoring the visitors' 20-8 inside the paint.
The Nor'easters seized a 37-36 lead on their first possession of the second stanza as Drew Patno sank a jumper.
The Lions responded with a 13-1 run to regain an 11-point margin, 49-38.
The University of New England clawed back to within one with 6:36 left to play on a trey by Ryan Matthews, 55-54.
Buckets by Lynch and Doran stretched Eastern Nazarene's advantage to five points with 5:08 to go, 59-54.
Drew Coveney and Gavin Dibble both connected on three-pointers to pull the Nor'easters back to within a point, 61-60, with 2:38 remaining.
Off of a designed inbound play, Eddings launched a pass to Lynch down the middle of the court to setup a breakaway layup for Lynch with 39 seconds on the clock to give the Lions a 63-60 lead.
The guests answered with a layup by Dibble with 10 seconds to go to cut the gap to 63-62.
Eastern Nazarene sealed its fifth-consecutive victory as Lynch sank two free throws then came up with a key steal in the final seconds of the game.
The Lions concluded the contest with a field-goal percentage of 48.1% to go with 5-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc. The Nor'easters shot 40% from the floor and 37.1% from long distance, draining 13 treys on 35 attempts.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene heads to CCC-frontrunner Endicott January 21.