QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team topped league-leading Curry 100-80 on Senior Night in front of a boisterous fanbase at the Lahue Physical Education Center Tuesday evening.
The victory propels the Lions to 16-7 on the season and 10-6 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The Colonels slip to 16-7 overall and 13-3 in league action to remain atop the standings.
Prior to tip-off, the Eastern Nazarene men's basketball program honored its senior class. Mike McCoy (Altamonte Springs, Fla.), Max Barbosa (Dorchester, Mass.), John Cramer (Corning, N.Y.), Aaron Johnson (Roslindale, Mass.) and Chima Ezeigbo (Roanoke, Va.) were all recognized for their hard work and dedication to the program.
Brian Hard (Weymouth, Mass.), Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) and Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) paced the Lions with 13 points each. Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) finished with 11 points and seven boards off the bench. Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Barbosa tallied eight points apiece on the night while Johnson netted seven. Cramer and McCoy each poured in six points in the win.
Sedale Jones and A.J. Stephens led the visitors with 19 points each on the night. Lambros Papalambros chipped in with 16 points while Carlos Ribeiro finished with 12.
Following a 7-3 run by the home team to start the game, Curry answered with a 6-2 clip to tie the game at 9-9 with 15:09 left to play.
Eastern Nazarene's lead skyrocketed to 11 points with 10:16 remaining as Owens tossed in a layup, 24-13.
Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) tipped in a missed lay-in by McCoy in the waning seconds of the first half.
Eastern Nazarene headed into the halftime intermission sporting a 44-28 lead after shooting 47.1% from the floor and 53.3% from three-point land in the opening 20 minutes.
Hard led the hosts with nine first-half points while Justin Wagner poured in eight and Owens recorded seven.
The Lions stretched their advantage to 21 just three minutes into the second period as Barbosa converted a pair of free throws, 53-32.
The visitors trimmed the margin to 13 with 8:40 left to play as Jones knocked down two free throws, 63-50.
Eastern Nazarene restored its lead to 22 on a lay-up by Lynch with 4:51 to go, 79-57.
The Lions drained 19 free throws in the final five minutes and 13 attempts in the final 3:28 of the contest to secure the win.
A made bucket from the charity stripe by Nick Formaro (Alpharetta, Ga.) with six ticks left on the clock pushed the home side over the triple-digit plateau.
Eastern Nazarene connected on half of its field-goal attempts on the night, including 9-of-22 from long range and 26-of-51 from the free throw line. Curry shot 44.3% from the floor and 50% from beyond the arc in the contest.
Up next, the Lions will hit the road to close out the regular season with games at Western New England February 14 and Endicott February 16.