MILTON, Mass. - Visiting Eastern Nazarene outdistanced Curry College, 70-58, in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) opener for both teams Wednesday night in Milton. The Lions improved 7-0 on the season and 1-0 in CCC play, while the Colonels fell to 0-7 and 0-1 in conference action.
In the first half, both teams battled back and forth with Eastern Nazarene capturing the largest lead of the half (9) with 11 minutes to go after a jump shot from junior Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.)
Freshman Jason O'Neil (Norton, Mass.) brought the game to within three six minutes later with a three-pointer to bring the score to 25-22. Junior James Pina (Warwick, R.I.) would later hit both of his free-throw shots to pull Curry to within a point of the Lions, 25-24, the closest they would get in the first half.
Senior Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) closed out the scoring for Eastern Nazarene with 18 seconds left, putting the score at 34-31 to end the first half.
Pina led the game through the first half with 14 points, followed by the Lions' senior Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) with 13.
The Colonels would tie the game twice in the first two minutes of the final frame, but Eastern Nazarene would pull away to another nine-point lead before Curry came roaring back. Junior Paul Preziosi (Quincy, Mass.) hit two of his free throws and then slammed one home over senior Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Calif.) to bring the score to 45-40 with 12 minutes left in the game.
However, Eastern Nazarene continued to build on its lead on its way to a 12-point victory, with Owens finishing out the scoring by sinking both of his free-throw shots.
Owens led the Lions with 23 points while adding three rebounds and three steals. Wagner, Gomes and Lynch all scored in double digits, putting up 16, 13 and 11 points, respectively. Senior David Eddings (Endicott, N.Y.) led the team with 10 total rebounds and added seven points.
Pina led the game with 25 points and added another game high with 12 total rebounds for Curry. Preziosi was next with 10 points and five rebounds, and senior Tim Flanagan (Providence, R.I.) added four points and four assists.
Both teams return to conference action Saturday at 3 p.m. as the Colonels travel to Salve Regina while the Eastern Nazarene visits Endicott.