QUINCY, Mass. – Despite a game-high 26 points from senior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.), Eastern Nazarene outlasted Wentworth Institute of Technology, 68-65, in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's basketball action Saturday afternoon inside Lahue PE Center.
The setback breaks a four-game win streak for Wentworth, as the Leopards drop to 13-6 overall and 8-4 in conference play. The Lions improve to 7-12 this season, and 3-9 against league opponents.
Freshman David Lopez (Miami, Fla.) opened the league tilt with shot from downtown, before Ganley made a three of his own to put the Leopards on the board. The Lions turned a 10-2 run, including back-to-back three pointers from sophomores Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.) and Jacob Waldroop (Newland, N.C.), forcing a Wentworth timeout with 13:32 to go in the half.
The Leopards chipped away at the deficit, as sophomore Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) pulled Wentworth within three, 19-16. Lopez stayed hot from beyond the arc and drained a trey to give Eastern Nazarene a 22-16 lead. Two points in the paint from Ganley prevented the hosts from taking a double-digit lead, as both teams battled basket for basket, with Eastern Nazarene holding a 35-29 lead at halftime.
Wentworth ran with a 10-2 charge to open the second half, as senior Michael Boaheng (Worcester, Mass.) gave the Leopards their first lead of the game, 38-37. Sophomore Andrew Mitchell (Campobello, S.C.) made a jumper to bring the score to 39-39 before senior Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) broke a two-minute freeze, putting Wentworth back on top 41-39. Freshman Luke Dagley (Weymouth, Mass.) and Ganley traded baskets from downtown with Wentworth up by three (49-46), but the Lions scored eight unanswered points for a 54-49 advantage, forcing another Wentworth timeout.
Ganley and Lopez traded baskets with 12 seconds left in regulation, as Eastern Nazarene held a 66-63 advantage. In an attempt to tie things up with 12 seconds to go, Ganley was fouled by none other than Lopez from behind the arc. Ganley made two of three shots from the line to pull within one, 66-65, but a final foul from the Leopards with one second left gave Eastern Nazarene the upper hand, as Cheney sunk both shots from the line.
Azums finished with 12 points and six rebounds, while senior Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) added nine points, four rebounds, and four steals.
Three Lions finished in double figures, headlined by Waldroop with 16 points and seven assists. Cheney and Lopez finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
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