QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team fell to Westfield State 104-86 Tuesday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
The Lions slip to 3-7 on the season with the outcome while the Owls improve to 7-3 overall.
David Lopez (Miami, Fla.) poured in a team-best 20 points and collected six rebounds off the bench. Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) tallied 18 points while Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) notched 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Levi Grady-White (Springfield, Mass.) netted a season-high 10 points off the bench. Ricky Shearman (Acworth, Ga.) finished with nine points, six boards, and five assists on the night.
After each team nailed a three-pointer on their opening possessions, the visitors strung together a 6-0 run to grab a 9-3 edge with 16:51 remaining in the first half.
Westfield State pushed its advantage to 10 on a pair of free throws by Jauch Green, Jr. with 12:01 to go in the opening stanza, 20-10.
The Owls stretched the gap to 14 with 6:01 left to play in the first on a fast-break layup by Malik Pouncy, 36-22.
The guests sported a 51-38 lead at the halftime intermission as Vawn Lord sank a buzzer-beating trey.
Eastern Nazarene shot 50% from the floor and 41.7% from three-point territory in the first frame. Westfield State posted a field-goal percentage of 52.8% in the opening half while connecting on 5-of-13 from beyond the arc.
Lopez paced the Lions with 17 points and four rebounds off the bench in the first period while Crandell added 10 points and a pair of assists.
The home side cut the deficit to eight less than three minutes into the second stanza, 55-47, as a fast-break layup by Crandell capped off a 7-0 spurt.
The visitors widened the margin to 14 on a trey by Lord with 16:51 remaining, 63-49.
Westfield State expanded its advantage to 22 points with 9:14 left to play as Green, Jr. tossed in a fast-break lay-in, 84-62.
Eastern Nazarene battled back to pull to within 10, 94-84, on a bucket by Rice with 3:20 on the clock.
The Owls closed out the contest on a 10-2 run to lock up their fifth-straight victory.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 52.9% in the game to go with 9-of-22 shooting from behind the arc. Westfield State shot 57.6% on the night and 45.8% from long distance.
Green, Jr. poured in a game-best 26 points and added six rebounds with five assists. Collins scored 21 points while Lord and Pouncy both chalked up 20 points.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene will travel to Maine Maritime for a New Year's Eve showdown December 31.