BOSTON – Despite a career-high 23 points from senior Jake Meister, the Suffolk men's basketball team fell to UMass Boston, 72-61, Saturday afternoon at Regan Gymnasium in the season opener for both teams.
Meister hit 7-of-14 from the field, including 2-of-5 from behind the arc and 7-of-8 from the line to pace the Rams' (0-1) attack in the Jeff Juron era debut. The senior forward added six rebounds to the effort. Quinn McCartney also posted a career-best in points as the sophomore contributed 14 on a 6-of-10 performance from the floor in the loss. Senior Matt Duquette matched McCartney's scoring output with 14 points, shooting 6-of-15, to go along with five boards and four assists. Adam Chick was a force for Suffolk on the glass, pulling down a team-best nine caroms.
Michael Campbell's 20-point, six-rebound effort led UMass Boston (1-0).
The Beacons jumped out to an early 9-4 lead, that quickly turned into double-digits, 17-6. McCartney baskets, a trey and lay-up, sandwiched a UMass score to cut the visitors edge to eight. The sophomore lit a spark for Suffolk as it rolled on an 11-3 run to level the game at 22-all with just under six minutes to play before the half. The stretch featured six points from Duquette and five from Meister.
After trading hoops, Duquette put the Rams out in front for the first time on a good jumper. Down the stretch the Beacons outscored Suffolk, 6-4, to take a two-point lead into the break.
The opening minutes of the second stanza were tight and McCartney put Suffolk in front on a crowd-pleasing drive, 39-37 at 15:49. The Rams went cold, however, and UMass took advantage as it regained and maintained a six-point lead approaching the eight-minute mark.
Just like the first-half, Suffolk rallied behind good free throws from Meister and went up on a good jumper by Duquette, 58-57 with 5:57 to play. The lead was short lived, however, as the Beacons scored 10 of the next 12 points. Leading by six, UMass took care of business at the charity stripe to put the win away.
Suffolk returns to action Nov. 20-21 at the Amherst College Tournament. The Rams will play Worcester State in the opening round Friday at 8 p.m.