Jackie Logan/The Veritas NewsWith three straight losses, men's basketball has hit their first losing skid of the season.

Jackie Logan/The Veritas News
With three straight losses, men’s basketball has hit their first losing skid of the season.

After starting the season 10-1 (4-1), men’s basketball has lost three straight games, most recently losing back-to-back home games against Salve Regina and Gordon on Jan. 15 and 18.

Before losing to Salve Regina 78-69 on Wednesday, the Lions had not lost a home game in 354 days after winning their final four home games during the 2012-2013 season. The men last lost at home on Jan. 26, 2013 before losing twice last week.

On Saturday, ENC was defeated by rival Gordon College, 67-60. Gordon went into halftime with a 20-14 lead after ENC shot only 19.2% from the field. The Lions shot 43.8% in the second half, including 42.9% from three, but Gordon out-rebounded ENC 42-29 and shot 48.8% from the field during the game.

“Gordon was very successful on limiting us to one shot with the rebounding effort of their posts. We also like to play an up tempo style, but were unable to on Saturday,” sophomore Jeremy Wagner (Oklahoma City, Okla.) said. “We had one of the worst offensive outputs of the season in the first half, which will not happen again. Ultimately Gordon just made one more play than we did.”

Coach Jim Aller said that the Lions need to improve on defense.

“We need to be better defensively—I saw some improvement [Saturday]—need to see more on Tuesday,” Aller said.

Now 10-4 (4-4), the Lions are in sixth place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. They head to Dudley, Mass. on Tuesday to take on the best team in the conference, Nichols College.

Aller reiterated that it will come down to defense and rebounding.

“It all comes down to defense and rebounding,” he said. “Teams that do well in those areas tend to win.”

Wagner agreed that rebounding will be important against Nichols.

“We need to get back to playing an up tempo style by creating turnovers and getting open shots in transition,” he said. “We must also win the rebounding battle.”

The Lions are back in Lahue on Saturday, Jan. 25 against Endicott, who handed ENC their first loss of the season in early December.