MILTON, Mass. - The Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team topped Curry 73-67 in a tightly-contested Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) matchup Thursday night in Milton. The win moves the Lions to 15-2 overall and 8-2 in the CCC. The Colonels fall to 4-14 on the year and 2-9 in league play with the loss.
Eastern Nazarene opened up a 10-point lead over the first five minutes of the game. Junior Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) made his free-throw shot after being fouled to complete a three-point play with 14:52 left in the first half making the score 14-4. Senior Matt Russell (South Portland, M.E.) made a pair of free throws with 11:29 remaining, tying the game at 14 apiece. Junior Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) pushed Eastern Nazarene ahead to its biggest lead of the half (9) with a three- pointer with 6:41 left. Junior Danny Brooks (Boston, Mass.) closed the first-half scoring with a dunk that cut the host team's deficit to six (37-31) at intermission.
Sophomore James Pina (Warwick, R.I.) opened the second-half scoring, pulling Curry to within four at 37-33. The Lions went on to post their biggest lead of the half (9) on a lay-up from senior Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I.) with 13:39 left on the clock. Russell later pulled the Colonels to within three with a layup making it 59-56. Junior Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) put Eastern Nazarene up by nine again on a three-pointer with three minutes remaining. Junior Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) closed the scoring with two made free throws bringing the final score to 73-67.
Justin Wagner led all scorers with a game best 21 points and pulled down four rebounds. Owens recorded 19 points along with a game high seven assists. Jeremy Wagner chipped in with 16 points. Jarman also pulled down a team high six rebounds.
Curry was led by senior Antonio Jones (Dorchester, Mass.) with team best 17 points. Classmate Russell followed behind with 14 points and six rebounds. Pina helped with 12 points and five boards, while Brooks scored 11.
The Colonels play again Saturday afternoon as they travel to conference foe Western New England University at 3 p.m. and the Lions host CCC opponent University of New England on Saturday as well, also a 3 o'clock tip off.