QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team absorbed an 84-70 loss to Nichols Wednesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center in the final home contest of the season.
The Lions dip to 11-13 on the year and 8-9 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, locking them into the No. 6 seed in the CCC Tournament. The Bison improve to 19-5 overall and 14-3 in league play with the win.
Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) poured in 25 points and added three steals to pace the home side. Corey Doran (Fairfield, Calif.) notched 18 points and hauled in eight boards. Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
After Eastern Nazarene netted the game's opening basket, Nichols rattled off 10 unanswered points to grab a 10-2 lead with 16:12 remaining in the opening half.
The Lions clawed back to cut the deficit to 19-18 with 9:18 to go in the first period on a bucket by Cheney.
The Bison utilized a 10-0 run to establish a 34-23 advantage with 4:02 on the clock.
The hosts pulled to within eight on a layup by Doran before the visitors reclaimed a double-digit lead before the halftime break, 40-30.
Eastern Nazarene shot 36.4% from the floor in the first half, including 37.5% from three-point land. Nichols boasted a field-goal percentage of 44.1% through the first frame.
The Lions trimmed the gap to three with 12:44 remaining in the second stanza as David Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.) splashed a three-pointer, 56-53.
The Bison widened the margin to 70-60 with 7:51 left to play on a jumper by Daequon Antoine.
Nichols outscored Eastern Nazarene 11-6 in the final five minutes of action to run its winning-streak to seven games.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 46.4% to go with 8-for-18 shooting from beyond the arc. The Bison shot 45.8% in the game and 34.4% from the perimeter.
DeAnte Bruton led Nichols with a game-high 26 points while Tyler Dion chipped in with 17 points. Jerome Cunningham recorded a double-double with 18 boards and 13 points while also posting seven blocks.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene closes out the regular season on the road at Curry February 18.