BOSTON – A strong second-half pushed Johnson & Wales past the Suffolk men's basketball team, 90-50, Saturday afternoon inside Regan Gymnasium.
Johnson & Wales, who is receiving votes in the d3hoops.com Coaches Poll, improved to 14-1 and 8-0 against GNAC opponents with its 14th straight win. Tom Garrick scored a game-high 33 points with Quarry Greenaway and Jarell Lawson adding 14 and 12, respectively.
Meister put Suffolk on the scoreboard first and the Rams remained out in front for the first four minutes. JWU took its first lead of the day as Garrick etched his name in the scorebook with a lay-up, before a back-and-forth game ensued.
As the clock ticked to 11:20, Meister found Hagopian on the right wing and the freshman guard swished the triple to put Suffolk ahead, 17-15. Unni gave the Rams their largest lead of the first-half with a layup, before the Wildcats chipped away and tied things up for the fourth time at 19-all as Greenaway banked in a lay-up.
The Rams answered on their very next possession as Matt McLean found Jean-Zachary Louissant cutting down the lane for two and the score moved to 21-19 in the hosts' favor. The lead was shortlived as JWU went to the three-point line for an answer and found one when Garrick and Lawson swished back-to-back triples.
Now trailing 25-21, Unni put in a three of his own, but the Wildcats went on to score seven unanswered points to open a 32-24 advantage. Steven DiPrizio heated up for Suffolk, putting in five quick points and Hagopian converted on a trip to the free throw line to send the Rams to the locker room down by just six, 36-30.
Garrick swished two consecutive triples out of the break as the Wildcats' lead quickly escalated to double figures, 42-30, in the opening minute of the second stanza. Suffolk scored nine of the next 15 points to pull back within 10, 48-38. JWU did not let the Rams get any closer as the Wildcats scored 13 unanswered points and rolled to the 90-50 victory.
Suffolk returns to action Monday, Jan. 18 when it visits Saint Joseph's College for a 3 p.m. game.