FRANKLIN, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team defeated Dean 73-64 Wednesday evening on the road.
The Lions jump to 7-8 on the season and remain unbeaten in New England Collegiate Conference play at 3-0 with the win. The Bulldogs slide to 4-11 overall and 1-1 in league competition with the setback.
Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) poured in a game-best 17 points and grabbed six rebounds. Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) scored a season-high 15 points while adding four boards, three assists, and two steals. Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) notched 14 points and collected five rebounds while Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) finished with 14 points off the bench. David Lopez (Miami, Fla.) hauled in a career-high 13 rebounds and netted seven points.
The visitors raced out to a 5-0 lead less than two minutes into the contest on a layup by Crandell followed by a trey from Waldroop.
After the home side knotted the score at 5-5, Eastern Nazarene grabbed an 11-7 edge with 13:52 remaining in the opening frame as Rice splashed a three-pointer.
The Lions widened the margin to seven, 16-9, on a trey by Cheney with 11:54 left to play in the first half.
Dean pulled even at 30-30 with 38 seconds to go in the period as Jordan Booker converted a three-point play.
The guests answered with a three-pointer by Rice before the Bulldogs cut the gap to 33-32 just before the halftime horn.
Eastern Nazarene posted a field-goal percentage of 41.9% in the opening 20 minutes of action while connecting on 40% of its three-point attempts. Dean shot 44.8% from the floor and 22.2% from beyond the arc in the first frame.
Waldroop paced the Lions with nine first-half points to go with three assists while Crandell, Cheney, and Rice all tallied six points. Lopez gathered a team-best eight rebounds and added two points in the opening stanza.
The visitors utilized a 15-2 run spanning the opening five minutes of the second half to construct a 14-point advantage, 48-34.
After the Bulldogs trimmed the deficit to eight, Eastern Nazarene stretched its lead to 58-43 with 8:06 left to play in regulation as Cheney sank a pair of free throws.
Dean narrowed the margin to seven with 3:44 to go on a three-pointer by Traijan Powell, 64.57.
The Lions outscored the hosts 9-7 down the stretch to lock up their third win in a row.
Eastern Nazarene shot 42.9% from the floor on the night while drilling 8-of-28 attempts from long range. Dean finished with a field-goal percentage of 36.9% to go with 29.2% shooting from three-point territory.
Booker paced the Bulldogs with 16 points while Powell contributed with 15 points. Jordan Lynch-Rexroth registered a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards in the game.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene visits Lesley January 18.