BANNER ELK, N.C.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team suffered an 89-68 setback at NCAA Division II Lees-McRae Wednesday evening in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
The Lions drop to 2-5 overall with the result while the Bobcats improve to 4-1 on the season.
Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) poured in 18 points, grabbed three boards, and dished out three assists while Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) also netted 18 points in the game. David Lopez (Miami, Fla.) chipped in with six points and six rebounds off the bench. Andrew Mitchell (Campobello, S.C.) tallied six points and Ozzy Traill III (Valley Stream, N.Y.) added five points and three assists.
The hosts strung together a 6-0 spurt to seize an 11-5 edge with 15:11 remaining in the first half.
Lees-McRae pushed its advantage to 19-7 on a three-point play by Jerick Haynes with 11:14 to go in the opening frame.
The visitors cut the deficit to six with 7:55 on the clock, 23-17, on a bucket by Crandell.
After the Bobcats regained a double-digit lead, the Lions clawed back to narrow the gap to 30-25 with 1:41 remaining in the half with a 6-0 run.
Lees-McRae held a 37-29 lead at the halftime intermission after Kamil Williams sank a buzzer-beating three-pointer.
The home side started the second stanza with six straight points to widen the margin to 43-29.
The Bobcats extended their advantage to 17 points with 10:31 remaining in regulation on a layup by Sidney Dollar, 59-42.
Lees-McRae maintained its double-figure lead throughout the second half to pick up its third-consecutive victory.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 46.6% while draining 6-of-18 three-point attempts. The Bobcats shot 51.8% from the floor and 36% from beyond the arc in the contest.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene returns home to host Northern Vermont-Lyndon December 4.