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Men's Basketball Fended off by Eastern Nazarene

Men's Basketball Fended off by Eastern Nazarene

QUINCY, Mass. – Four players scored in double figures including senior Anthony Petrilli (Santa Clarita, Calif.) who had 23 points as the Eastern Nazarene College men's basketball team took an 80-75 victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology in a Commonwealth Coast Conference contest played at the Lahue Center.

The Lions snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in league play while the Leopards fall to 2-4 (1-2).

While both teams' offenses struggled in the early going, Wentworth took a 5-0 lead as junior Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) had a pair of baskets sandwiched around a freshman Matt Vartanian (Salem, N.H.) free throw. The Leopards extended their lead to 10-4 on a Kizel three pointer with 12:59 left and took a 16-9 lead on a pair of Vartanian free throws with 10:16 left.

Eastern Nazarene used a 7-2 run and pulled within a pair after a Petrilli three pointer with 8:25 to play. The Lions came within a pair on two other occasions including on a senior Corey Doran (Fairfield, Calif.) layup with 5:48 left in the half.

A Vartanian jumper with 2:47 left pushed the lead to five, however four straight Eastern Nazarene points made it a one-point contest just over two minutes remaining. Senior Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) made a layup with 58 seconds left to make it a 32-31 game, however senior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) hit one of two free throws with 42 seconds left and freshman Ellis Christmas (Elmsford, N.Y.) made a jumper with four ticks left to make it a 35-31 Wentworth advantage at the break.

Wentworth scored eight of the first 13 points of the second half with six coming on senior Dan DeVaux (Wethersfield, Conn.) three pointers. A DeVaux jumper with 14:22 left upped the lead to 47-38, however Lynch scored the hosts' next four points – sandwiched around a free throw from Christmas – to make it 48-42 with 13:04 remaining.

A 6-2 Leopard spurt, buoyed by four points from DeVaux, gave Wentworth a 54-44 lead with 12:02 remaining. Eastern Nazarene responded with a 12-0 run to take a 56-54 lead with 9:13 left after a basket from Lynch. Out of a time out Vartanian hit a jumper to tie the game and gave the Black & Gold a one-point lead with a free throw a little over a minute later. The teams would battle back and forth with junior Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) tying the game at 69-69 on a three pointer with three minutes left.

Lynch gave the Lions a two-point lead, however freshman Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) hit two free throws to tie the game at 71-all. Petrilli gave Eastern Nazarene the lead for good when he scored this team's next six points, making it a 77-72 game with 29 seconds left.

Azums hit two free throws and DeVaux would bury one of two to pull Wentworth within a pair with 12 seconds left. Two freshman Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) free throws made it 79-75 which sealed the win for the Lions.

Doran added 19 points and nine rebounds for the victors, who also received 15 points from Lynch and 14 points from Rice.

Ganley, DeVaux, and Azums each scored 16 points for Wentworth. Azums also grabbed eight rebounds. Vartanian rounded out a quartet of Leopards in double figures, scoring 12 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists.

Wentworth hosts fifth-ranked Tufts on Saturday.