Men’s Basketball Clipped at Regionally-Ranked New England College, 89-78; Noah Cheney Scores 1,000th Career Point

Men’s Basketball Clipped at Regionally-Ranked New England College, 89-78; Noah Cheney Scores 1,000th Career Point

HENNIKER, N.H.- Senior Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) became the 34th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points as the Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team suffered an 89-78 setback at New England College Wednesday evening.

The Lions dip to 13-11 on the season and 8-3 in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) with the result. The Pilgrims, ranked No. 11 in the latest NCAA Regional Rankings, finish the regular season with a 19-6 overall record while clinching the No. 1 seed in the NECC Tournament with a 10-2 league mark.

Cheney tallied 19 points on the night to go with four rebounds. Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) paced the squad with 21 points, nine boards, and five assists. Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.) poured in a season-high 20 points and added four rebounds. Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) chipped in with nine points, six boards, and three assists.

The visitors claimed a six-point lead with 8:04 left to play in the first half, 23-17, as Waldroop converted the first of two free throw attempts.

The hosts strung together a 6-0 run to pull even at 23-23 with 6:52 remaining in the opening frame on a put-back layup by Michael Tavilla.

New England College nabbed its first lead of the game with 4:07 on the clock in the first as Izaiah Winston-Brooks connected on a trey, 31-28.

After Eastern Nazarene seized a two-point edge with 2:05 to go in the half, the Pilgrims chalked up five-straight points to carry a 38-35 advantage into the halftime intermission.

The Lions shot 42.9% from the floor while draining 5-of-10 from the perimeter in the first frame. The home side posted a field-goal percentage of 35.7% while shooting 30.8% from behind the arc.

New England College widened the gap to 52-46 on a three-pointer by Kareen Octavien with 14:29 left to play.

Eastern Nazarene leveled the contest at 53-53 with 11:12 remaining in regulation as Waldroop splashed a trey.

The Pilgrims built up an eight-point advantage with 8:15 to go on a three by Calvin Cheek, 65-57.

The Lions clawed back to take a one-point edge, 74-73, on a layup by Rice with 2:51 on the clock.

The hosts responded with a 10-0 run to gain an 83-74 lead with less than a minute left to play in the game. New England College converted 7-of-7 attempts from the charity stripe in the final minute to lock up its 11th-consecutive win at home.

The Lions concluded the contest with a field-goal percentage of 45.5% to go with 11-of-23 shooting from three-point range. The Pilgrims shot 43.9% from the floor and 33.3% from beyond the arc on the evening.

Winston-Brooks paced the home team with 26 points while Jamal Allen netted 23 points and Cheek contributed with 13 points, eight boards, and six assists.

Up next, Eastern Nazarene wraps up the regular season February 22 with a pivotal conference clash on the road at Mitchell.