BEVERLY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team dropped a 95-81 decision at Endicott Monday evening in the first game of the 2018-19 season.
The Lions slip to 0-1 on the year with the result while the Gulls improve to 1-0 overall.
Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) poured in 28 points and added five rebounds and three assists in his debut for Eastern Nazarene. Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) notched a double-double with 21 points and 12 boards. Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) finished with nine points, five rebounds, and five assists. Ricky Shearman (Acworth, Ga.) chipped in with nine points while Andrew Mitchell (Campobello, S.C.) tallied eight points.
After Crandell splashed a three-pointer for the visitors to open the game, the home side rattled off 12 unanswered points to grab a 12-3 lead with 16:23 remaining in the first half.
Endicott stretched its advantage to double-digits with 14:51 on the clock, 17-7, on a trey by Keith Brown.
The Gulls widened the gap to 32-12 after a 12-0 run with 10:58 left to play in the opening frame.
Eastern Nazarene cut the deficit to nine with 1:10 to go in the first half as Crandell drained a three-pointer from the right wing, 54-45.
The Lions trailed 56-45 at the half after trailing by as much as 22 points in the first period.
The guests shot 44.8% from the floor and connected on 6-of-11 from behind the arc in the opening half. The hosts sported a field-goal percentage of 60.7% at the break to go with 12-of-20 shooting from three-point range.
Crandell paced Eastern Nazarene with 15 first-half points while Rice recorded nine points and five boards.
Endicott edged the Lions 39-36 in the second stanza to collect its first victory of the season.
Eastern Nazarene finished with a field-goal percentage of 43.3% to go with 47.8% shooting from long distance. The Gulls shot 50.8% from the floor on the night and sank 18-of-37 three-point attempts.
Endicott's Brown led all scorers with 49 points while Matt McDevitt netted 14 points and Vinny Clifford added 10.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene will host Maine Maritime November 15 in the home-opener.