QUINCY, Mass. — University of New England first-year Lauren Hayden had a career-best 18 points while senior Beth Suggs eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau by scoring 16, as the Nor’easters defeated Eastern Nazarene College, 61-47, in a Commonwealth Coast Conference game Wednesday (Feb. 6) evening at LaHue Physical Education Center.
With their school-record 13th consecutive victory, the Nor’easters (18-4, 15-0 CCC) clinched the top seed for the upcoming CCC Championship. Leading by four games in the standings with three regular-season contests remaining, UNE is seeking its first unbeaten CCC ledger since joining the league in 1999. The Nor’easters have now won 10 straight versus Eastern Nazarene (10-12, 5-10).
Hayden, whose 18 points led all scorers, tallied 14 on 5-for-6 shooting in the first half. She finished with a 7-for-8 performance from the floor to go with six steals.
Suggs connected on a jumper with 11:22 left in the game to become the 21st player in program history to score at least 1,000 points. Needing nine markers to reach the plateau heading into the contest, she also led all rebounders with eight.
Junior Kelly Coleman added 10 points and five boards for the Nor’easters, who never trailed on the evening.
Ace Carridine and Presley Neufeld scored 11 points apiece for the Lions. Abbie Tonello chipped in eight points, six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
Hayden tallied nine points over the opening eight minutes to help UNE open up a 15-7 lead. After a three-pointer by Liz LeBlanc gave the Nor’easters a 26-12 cushion with 7:21 left in the frame, Eastern Nazarene held Big Blue scoreless over the next four minutes but was unable to convert on the offensive end, scoring just three points.
UNE took a 31-19 advantage into the break.
The Nor’easters’ lead would remain in double digits the entire second half. Big Blue led by as many 23 on two occasions in the final frame.
For the game, UNE made half (25 of 52) of its field goal attempts while forcing 28 Eastern Nazarene turnovers. The Nor’easters shot a woeful 27.8 percent (5 of 18) from the charity stripe.
Eastern Nazarene notches wire-to-wire win over UNE
QUINCY, Mass. — Justin Wagner, Eric Lynch and Brian Hard combined for 42 points off the bench to pace Eastern Nazarene College in a 74-57 Commonwealth Coast Conference men’s basketball victory over the University of New England on Wednesday at the LaHue Physical Education Center.
The Lions improved to 15-7 overall and 9-6 in league play with the triumph, while the Nor’easters fell to 4-18 on the season (3-12 CCC).
ENC led from start-to-finish in the game. After UNE seniors Alex Alsadi (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Sam Simpson (Eustis, Maine) connected for a layup and three-pointer, respectively, to cut an early deficit to five (22-17), the hosts responded with 13 unanswered points in a little over two minutes to gain full control of the contest. Wagner hit three treys in the middle of the stretch to push the margin into double digits.
Wagner totaled 15 of his points before halftime, where the Lions held a 42-30 cushion. On the night, he knocked down six triples on just seven attempts — his only field goal tries of the game.
Lynch finished with 13 points and six rebounds, and Hard had 11 points. While scoring just five points, Jaylen Owens also dished out nine assists and picked up five steals. Chima Ezeigbo pulled down a team-best seven boards.
The difference peaked at 25 (62-37) midway through the second half. For the game, ENC recorded 13 three-pointers and scored 32 points off 25 Nor’easters turnovers.
Big Blue was led by first-year Devin Thompson (Winthrop, Mass.), who registered 14 points to go with seven rebounds and three steals. Classmate Jesse Dykstra (Douglas, Mass.) added 10 points, as sophomore Conner Michalak (Los Angeles, Calif.) and rookie Mitch Loeman (Freeport, Maine) chipped in with six points apiece.
UNE outshot its opponent in the contest, going 22-for-48 (46 percent) from the floor compared to the Lions’ 24-for-60 shooting performance. The Nor’easters also out-rebounded ENC, 41-37.
Barring the arrival of inclement weather to the region, both teams will play again on Saturday (3 p.m.). Eastern Nazarene is slated to visit Western New England University, while UNE will head to Nichols College.