QUINCY, MA – The Elms College men's basketball team dropped a tough road game at ENC on Saturday afternoon. In a game that came down to the wire, two free throws and a clutch block lifted the Eastern Nazarene College to a 76-75 victory over Elms Saturday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center. The Blazers see their three game winning streak come to an end, and dip to 5-9 overall and 1-1 in league competition with the result.
The hosts chalked up the first five points of the contest before the visitors battled back to seize an 11-10 edge with 15:34 remaining in the first half. Eastern Nazarene grabbed a six point advantage with 11:26 left to play in the opening frame.
The home side extended its lead to 16 on a three-pointer with less than one minute remaining in the half. Eastern Nazarene touted a 40-27 advantage at the break after shooting 48.4% from the floor and 46.2% from three-point range in the opening stanza. Elms connected on 37.9% of its field-goal attempts in the first frame, including 2-of-9 from behind the arc.
The Lions pushed their lead to 50-31 with 16:35 to go in regulation. The Blazers strung together a 13-0 run to cut the deficit to 61-59 with 6:17 left to play in the contest. Eastern Nazarene captured a seven-point edge with 4:43 on the clock 68-61.
Elms pulled even at 71-71 with 2:08 remaining on a bucket by Nikolas Brown (Wellington, FL) before the home team responded with a three-pointer to snag a 74-71 advantage with 1:48 to go.
The guests jumped ahead 75-74 with 20 seconds remaining as Tyler Barney (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) drilled a three-pointer from the right corner.
The Lions clawed back to reclaim a one-point lead with 4.4 seconds on the clock after converting a pair of free throws.
On the final play of regulation, an Elms' last-second effort was blocked as Eastern Nazarene escaped with the one-point victory.
The Lions finished with a field-goal percentage of 43.8% while draining 11-of-27 from long distance. The Blazers shot 52.6% in the game, including 67.9% from the floor in the second half, while shooting 35.3% from beyond the three-point line.
David Lopez Jr. (Willimantic, CT) paced Elms with 19 points while Kewan Smoot (Windsor, CT) netted 17 points and seven rebounds.
The Blazers are back on the court Wednesday 1/15 at 5PM when they travel to Emmanuel College in non-conference play.