Men's Basketball Doesn't Blink In 78-73 Win Over Lions

Men's Basketball Doesn't Blink In 78-73 Win Over Lions

THE BASICS:
Score: Dean College 78, Eastern Nazarene 73
Records: Dean College (5-3), Eastern Nazarene (3-5)
Location: Lahue PE Center, Quincy, Mass.
Date: Thursday, December 7, 2017
Time: 7:30 PM

THE LEAD:
Dean College ended the game on an 8-2 run to erase a brief deficit and the visiting Bulldogs posted a 78-73 win over Eastern Nazarene in non-league men's basketball action on Thursday evening.

Armani Baker (Pawtucket, R.I.), Jordan Booker (Waterbury, Conn.) and Josh Croskey (Union, N.J.) all made critical plays in the final two minutes to help Dean secure the victory.

HOW IT HAPPENED:
The game was nip and tuck for most of the contest and it featured six ties and ten lead changes. Dean actually saw the Lions get a half-ending three-pointer from Brenndan Rogers that gave the hosts a comfortable 43-36 lead heading into intermission.

Eastern Nazarene led for most of the first ten minutes of the second half until a quick 7-0 burst by Dean – which featured four points from Croskey and a Dayvon Russell (Naugatuck, Conn.) triple – put them in front 53-49.

With the lead, the Bulldogs kept the Lions at arm's length until Josh Rice drilled a three-pointer and Andrew Mitchell connected on two free throws to put Eastern Nazarene back in front, 71-70, with less than two minutes to go.

Baker then came through for the Bulldogs by knocking down two free throws that put Dean back on top, 72-71. On the ensuing possession, Rice had his shot turned aside by Croskey, which led to a Booker basket and a 74-71 edge for the Bulldogs.

Dean caused a turnover on the Lions' next possession, Croskey was fouled and was able to extend the Dean lead to five points with less than 30 seconds to play.

Eastern Nazarene responded with an acrobatic finish from Jacob Waldroop, but when Russell connected on his two from the charity stripe with 14 seconds left, the contest was over.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
The Bulldogs shot 48 percent from the field for the game, including 50 percent in the final 20 minutes.

Booker led a trio of double figure scorers for Dean with his 21 points, five rebounds and seven assists while Croskey had another strong performance, totaling 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

Russell ended the night with nine points for the Bulldogs, who also got nine points, eight assists, and four rebounds from Randolf Thurman (Swampscott Mass.).

Eastern Nazarene was paced by Rice, who totaled 21 points on 7-for-14 shooting.

UP NEXT:
Dean returns to the hardwood on Saturday when they make the sojourn north to close out the first half of the season against the University of New England.  

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