QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team suffered a 75-73 setback to Maine Maritime in the home-opener Thursday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions dip to 0-2 on the season with the loss while the Mariners improve to 2-2 overall.
Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) scored a team-best 16 points and added five boards. David Lopez (Miami, Fla.) finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, and a pair of steals. Levi Grady-White (Springfield, Mass.) chipped in with 12 points off the bench while Ricky Shearman (Acworth, Ga.) notched 11 points and five assists.
After the visitors jumped out to a quick 5-4 edge, the home side captured an 8-5 lead after free throws by Lopez and Shearman.
Eastern Nazarene stretched its margin to double-digits, 19-9, on a layup by Grady-White with 10:56 left to play in the first period.
A rim-rattling dunk and a baseline-jumper from Grady-White pushed the Lions' advantage to 27-11 with 8:27 to go in the half.
Maine Maritime trimmed the gap to 33-23 with 3:41 on the clock as Riley Jorgenson connected on a three-pointer.
Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) spun in a layup with two minutes remaining in the first frame to extend the hosts' lead to 37-23.
The Lions clung to a seven-point advantage at the half after the Mariners' Kimani Anderson banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Eastern Nazarene sported a field-goal percentage of 53.6% despite a 0-for-4 effort from three-point range in the first half. Maine Maritime shot 44% from the floor and 35.7% from beyond the arc at the break.
Grady-White paced the Lions with 10 points off the bench while Lopez tallied nine and Cheney netted eight in the opening frame.
The Mariners used a 14-5 spurt to seize a 45-43 with 16:29 remaining in the second stanza.
The hosts reclaimed the lead with 15:28 to go in regulation as Cheney canned a three-pointer, 48-47.
The guests answered with a three by Nicholas DePatsy and a layup by Adam Richardson to take a 52-48 advantage with 14:45 on the clock.
Eastern Nazarene pulled ahead by one, 64-63, with eight minutes left to play on a lay-in by Lopez.
The two teams traded buckets and possession of the lead before the Lions chalked up five straight points to grab a 71-67 edge with 3:13 remaining.
Maine Maritime tied the game at 73-73 with 1:16 to go as Jorgenson tossed in a layup before another layup by Jorgenson lifted the Mariners ahead 75-73 with 25 seconds left.
Eastern Nazarene's last-second shot was off the mark as Maine Maritime escaped with the narrow victory.
The Lions concluded the contest with a field-goal percentage of 50% to go with 3-of-11 shooting from behind the arc. The Mariners shot 53.6% from the floor on the night and drained 9-of-27 three-point attempts.
Richardson and Jorgenson each scored 14 points to lead Maine Maritime.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene continues the four-game home-stand November 17with a matchup with MIT, ranked No. 5 in the D3Hoops.com National Poll.