HENNIKER, N.H. – For the second straight game Jake Meister led the Rams as the Suffolk men's basketball team held off New England College, 76-73, Sunday afternoon Bridges Gym.
Meister was 6-of-13 from the floor and force at the line, shooting 5-of-7 for 19 points. Three Rams (2-3) joined Meister the double-digit points column. Adam Chick put in 18 on a 70 percent connection rate (7-10) from the field as the senior guard played a well-balanced floor game of 18 points, eight boards, three assists, two steals and one block. Classmate Matt Duquette filled up the state sheet with a double-double effort of 17 points, shooting 8-of-16, 12 caroms, three assists and one swat. Off the bench sophomore Matt McLean chipped in 10 points and three assists.
Suffolk did not falter from its season average shooting percentage as it went 28-of-64 for 43.8 percent from the floor, including 36 points in the paint and six off the Pilgrims' five turnovers. For the second time in as many games Suffolk lead in rebounds, 41-27, and tallied three steals compared to New England's four.
New England (2-3) was paced by Dezron Wilson's 29 points, while Dondre James and Ricky Leonard added 13 points and 12 points, respectively, for the hosts.
The two teams battled back-and-forth throughout the majority of the opening half, which saw 11 lead changes and five ties. A good layup by Duquette at 5:59 put Suffolk out in front 25-24 and sparked a Rams, 12-5 over the final four minutes to give the Rams a 40-31 advantage the half.
Suffolk remained in front by a 10-point lead through the majority of the second stanza, before the Pilgrims turned up the heat with just over four minutes remaining. New England spurt together a 14-4 stretch to make it a two-point game, 73-71, with 1:07 on the clock.
In the hopes of not letting Tuesday night's buzzer beater repeat itself, McLean drove home a trifecta with 49 seconds left on the clock to make it a five-point game. Wilson connected on a set of free throws at 42 seconds, but the Pilgrims would not come any closer and the Rams sealed their first true road victory of the season, 76-73.
Suffolk returns to Beantown Tuesday, Dec. 1 to tip-off the GNAC portion of its schedule as the Rams host defending conference champ Albertus Magnus at 7 p.m.