QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team absorbed a 71-62 loss at Salve Regina Wednesday evening to open league play.
The Lions slip to 3-2 on the season and 0-1 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the setback. The Seahawks improve to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in conference action with the victory.
Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds off the bench to lead the visitors. Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) finished with 10 points while Trey'von Davis (Moore, S.C.) notched seven points, seven boards, and one block. David Lopez (Miami, Fla.), Andrew Mitchell (Campobello, S.C.), and Brenndan Rogers (Hanson, Mass.) all chipped in with eight points.
After the hosts opened the game with a 6-0 run, Eastern Nazarene battled back to capture an 11-10 edge as Cheney converted two free throws with 13:05 remaining in the first half.
The two teams traded ownership of the lead three times before Salve Regina surged ahead 25-16 with eight minutes left to play in the opening frame.
The Lions tallied six consecutive points to cut the deficit to 25-22 with 7:11 to go in the half on treys by Rice and Rogers.
The Seahawks closed out the first period with a 7-0 run spanning the final 6:18 of the half to hold a 32-22 advantage at intermission.
Eastern Nazarene shot 32.0% from the floor and 33.3% from behind the arc in the opening 20 minutes of action. Salve Regina posted a field-goal percentage of 48.1% in the first half while connecting on 30% of its attempts from long distance.
The home team expanded its lead to 15 just over three minutes into the second stanza, 41-26, as Isaiah Bowman sank two free throws.
The visitors trimmed the margin to 43-35 on a three-pointer by Rice with 14:38 left to play in regulation.
The Seahawks widened the gap to 14 points with 9:15 to go in the game, 55-41, as Cameron Collins banked in a layup.
Salve Regina maintained a double-figure lead throughout the remainder of the contest until Cheney's layup in the final seconds narrowed the deficit to nine.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 46.8% to go with 5-for-14 shooting from three-point range. The Seahawks shot 51% from the floor and 27.8% from beyond the arc on the night.
Collins led Salve Regina with a game-high 18 points and Bowman contributed 12 points.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene travels to Wentworth December 2 for a league tilt.