The rematch of two of the conference’s top teams ended in favor of Eastern Nazarene on Saturday, when the Lions played rival Gordon College on the road.
Junior Lequan Gomes scored a career-high 18 points to go along with 9 rebounds to help ENC defeat Gordon 75-66 on Saturday afternoon. The win was the Lions’ first over Gordon since an 82-69 home win on Jan. 19, 2008.
Junior Alex Jarman also earned a career-high, scoring 16 points on 8-for-12 shooting against the 2012-13 Defensive Player of the Year, Hans Miersma.
“Alex did a great job on their all-conference center,” Head Coach James Aller said.
With second-leading scorer Eric Lynch on the bench due to a minor shoulder strain, Aller called on Gomes for 29 minutes off the bench. He averages 17.5 minutes per game.
“We shot very well in the first half, particularly Alex and Lequan,” Aller said. “After they made their big run, we were able to slow them down on offense the last four minutes.”
Despite jumping out to a 42-28 halftime advantage, the Lions relinquished their lead in the second half as Gordon went up 57-56 with 7:24 remaining in the game.
The Lions finished the game on a 19-9 run, earning a 9-point win and clinching the No. 2 seed in the Commonwealth Coast Conference playoffs.
With the victory over Gordon, the Lions have defeated every team in the conference at least once.
On Tuesday night, the Lions will take on Wentworth, a team they have beaten twice this season, at home.
“[We] need to be able to get through their screens—they are a very physical team that screens well,” Aller said. “We need to be up to that challenge, as well as containing [Wentworth point guard Jherson Colon] in transition.”
“We have to play defense throughout the entire game,” sophomore guard Jaylen Owens said. “If we have a good defensive game, I’m confident that we will win the game.”
“We have a win over every team in the conference so we know what it takes to beat every team in the conference. We just have to play ENC basketball and stick together and everything will fall into place,” Owens added.
Lynch should return to the court on Tuesday, according to Aller.
The Lions’ quarterfinals game against Wentworth is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night.