BRISTOL, R.I.- Ignited by a career-high 35 point performance by senior Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.), the Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team stunned third-seeded Roger Williams 83-78in the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament quarterfinals Tuesday evening.
The Lions escalate to 13-13 on the season and advance to the CCC Tournament semifinals for the third time in the past five years. The Hawks finish with a 19-7 overall record.
Lynch added three boards, two steals, and one assist to go with his 35 points on the night. Corey Doran (Fairfield, Calif.) netted 16 points and collected six rebounds. Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) poured in 15 points and dished out five assists.
The visitors snagged an early 5-4 lead as Rice splashed a trey from the left corner with 15:28 left to play in the first half.
After a back-and-forth opening 10 minutes of play, the hosts strung together an 8-0 run to build up a seven-point gap with 8:50 remaining, 23-16.
Eastern Nazarene leveled the score at 25-25 as Doran finished off an and-one play at the charity stripe with 5:33 left to play in the opening stanza.
Doran banked in a layup in the final minute of the first frame to give the Lions a narrow 35-33 advantage heading into the halftime break.
Eastern Nazarene shot 51.9% from the floor through 20 minutes of action and 28.6% from beyond the arc. Roger Williams sported a field-goal percentage of 56.5% at intermission while shooting 3-for-8 from long range.
The guests chalked up seven consecutive points to establish a 44-38 lead two minutes into the second stanza.
The Lions stretched the margin to nine with 14:30 left to play in regulation on a three-pointer by Rice. The rookie drained his third trey of the night with 13:09 to go to push the lead to double digits, 58-48.
The Hawks cut the deficit to 63-58 on a layup by Justin Leip with 7:44 remaining.
Eastern Nazarene locked up the victory with seven makes from the free throw line in the final minute.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 57.1% with 36.4% from the perimeter. The Hawks shot 42.6% from the floor and just 17.4% from long range on the night.
Nick Marini paced Roger Williams with 20 points in the contest.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene heads to second-seeded Endicott February 23 for a CCC semifinal battle.