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Men's Basketball Win Streak Halted by Eastern Nazarene

Men's Basketball Win Streak Halted by Eastern Nazarene

BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore Eric Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) scored a team-high 17 points to pace four players in double figures as the Eastern Nazarene men's basketball team rallied after being down seven at the half and eight with 7:11 left to take a 71-67 win over Wentworth in Commonwealth Coast Conference action.

With the win the Lions, winners of four straight improve to 10-1 overall and 4-1 in CCC play while the Leopards see their three-game win streak halted, falling to 6-6 (3-2).

The two teams battled back and forth in the opening stages of the contest before a 15-4 Wentworth run turned a two-point deficit into a nine-point lead when junior Ray Bessette (Dedham, Maine) drained a three with 9:40 left in the half. The Leopards got a second-chance layup from sophomore Ronnie Turner (Lewiston, Maine) with 8:30 left to push their lead to 11 before Eastern Nazarene whittled away at the lead and trailed by three with just under two left in the half on a junior Alex Jarman (Portsmouth, R.I. putback.

A steal and layup by junior Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.) and a three-point play from freshman Jherson Colon (Boston, Mass.) gave the hosts a 34-26 lead with 45 seconds left and they would lead, 34-27, at the break. Wentworth shot 57.7 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes.

Eastern Nazarene scored the first eight points of the second half, with four coming from Lynch to take a 35-34 lead with 17:35 remaining. After Colon briefly gave the Leopards the lead back, Lynch hit two free throws and sophomore Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) hit a three in transition to put the Lions ahead, 42-38 with 14:56 left.

Wentworth countered with a 12-2 run over the next six and a half minutes, capped off by a three-point by from Colon to give the Leopards a 50-44 lead with 8:42 remaining. Colon gave the Black & Gold an eight point lead with 7:11 left in the contest.

The Lions used an 11-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 57-56 lead on a junior Lequan Jones (Farifield, Calif.) layup with 4:33 left. During the run, Gomes had four points, Jeremy Wagner had a fur-point play, and sophomore Justin Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) hit a three.

A junior John-Michael Fragnoli (Scotia, N.Y.) free throw knotted the score at 57-all with 4:11 left, and, after Gomes hit a layup, Colon tied the contest with two free throws.

Justin Wagner put the visitors up for good with a 3-pointer with 3:27 left and sophomore Jaylen Owens (Johns Creek, Ga.) extended the lead to five with 2:56 left.

Trailing by two with 1:00 left, the Leopards would turn the ball over and the Lions would hit six of eight free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Justin Wagner scored 15 points and had three steals, Gomes added 14 points and five rebounds, and Owens had 13 points and seven assists.

Colon had a career-high 23 points for the leopards, who also got 13 points (on 6-for-6 shooting), two assists, and two steals from Fragnoli, and a dozen points and seven rebounds from Bessette. Wentworth shot 60 percent from the floor and had a slight edge on the glass; 32-28.

Both teams continue CCC play Saturday. Wentworth hosts Roger Williams while Eastern Nazarene is at Western New England.

Eric Lynch 6-14 5-6 17; Justin Wagner 3-9 6-6 15; Lequan Gomes 5-10 4-9 14; Jaylen Owens 6-14 1-3 13; Jeremy Wagner 2-2 1-2 6; Alex Jarman 3-7 0-0 6; David Eddings 0-1 0-0 0; Brian Hard 0-2 0-0 0; Christian Lynch 0-0 0-0 0; Dylan Saenz 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-61 17-26 71.
WENTWORTH (6-6, 3-2 CCC)
Jherson Colon 9-13 4-4 23; John-Michael Fragnoli 6-6 1-3 13; Ray Bessette 5-8 0-0 12; Nico Donato 3-4 0-0 6; Derek Mayo 1-5 2-2 4; Cam Sennick 1-2 2-2 4; Scott Moran 1-3 1-1 3; Ronnie Turner 1-4 0-0 2; Ian Therriault 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals 27-45 10-12 67.
Eastern Nazarene..............   27   44  -   71
Wentworth.....................   34   33  -   67
3-point goals--Eastern Nazarene 4-12 (Justin Wagner 3-9; Jeremy Wagner 1-1; Jaylen Owens 0-1; Brian Hard 0-1), Wentworth 3-11 (Ray Bessette 2-5; Jherson Colon 1-1; Nico Donato 0-1; Derek Mayo 0-1; Scott Moran 0-1; Ronnie Turner 0-2). Fouled out--Eastern Nazarene-None, Wentworth-Derek Mayo. Rebounds--Eastern Nazarene 28 (Alex Jarman 7), Wentworth 32 (Ray Bessette 7). Assists--Eastern Nazarene 13 (Jaylen Owens 7), Wentworth 15 (Ian Therriault 3). Total fouls--Eastern Nazarene 16, Wentworth 22. Technical fouls—Wentworth-Ronnie Turner, Eastern Nazarene-None. A-225