STANDISH, Maine - In a game that featured six tied scores and eight lead changes, Suffolk slipped up late in the second half and Saint Joseph's College claimed the lead for good, 62-56, in GNAC men's basketball action at the Harold Alfond Center Monday afternoon.
Trailing 47-41 with 7:17 remaining, Saint Joseph's (6-10, 3-6 GNAC) rattled off 15 unanswered points - including six from freshman Darian Berry and five from senior Craigh Luschenat - and held a 56-47 lead after Luschenat made a pair of free throws with 52 seconds left. The Monks defense was an important factor during the game-changing stretch and held the Rams (4-11, 2-6 GNAC) without a bucket in 12 attempts in nine trips down the court over the seven-minute string.
In the closing 40 seconds, Suffolk fought back and cut the Monks' edge to four on a pair of occassions in the final 10 ticks, but sophomore Quinn Richardson-Newton and freshman Ian Mileikis made a set from the charity stripe apiece during the same span to help the hosts hold off the visitors.
Senior Jake Meister scored a game-high 19 points with seven rebounds. Classmate Caleb Unni also netted double figures with 11 to go along with five caroms while senior Adam Chick tallied nine points with eight rebounds and three handouts. Junior forward Matt Duquette chipped in off the bench with seven points, three boards, three assists and three swats.
Richardson-Newton nearly recorded a double-double for SJC with 18 points and eight rebounds, while going 6-of-7 on freebies. Mileikis added 14 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Saint Joseph's shot 38.8 percent (19-49) from the floor, 33.3 percent (7-21) from 3-point distance and 73.9 percent (17-23) from the free throw line, while Suffolk went 35 percent (21-60) from the field, 30.8 percent (8-26) from downtown and 85.7 percent (6-7) from the charity stripe on the afternoon. The Monks held advantages in rebounds (39-33), assists (15-13) and bench points (11-9), while the Rams took advantages turnovers (8-1), second-chances (5-4) and points int he paint (22-10).
Next up for the Rams is a Thrusday night date with the Lasers of Lasell inside Regan Gymnasium at 7 p.m.