BOSTON – In a matinee match-up, the Suffolk men's basketball team slipped to Anna Maria, 88-71, inside Regan Gymnasium Saturday.
Matt Duquette opened the scoring to what would be a tight first 20 minutes. Anna Maria (10-7, 6-4 GNAC) jumped out in front on a good trey from Corey Pryor at 15:59 and held the advantage the remainder of the way. The Rams (4-13, 2-8 GNAC) contested the AMCATS' advantage and a Jake Meister three with 7:56 remaining before the half tied things up at 25.
Anna Maria burst right out to a six-point edge, 31-25, where it stayed until Pryor swished one from long range to make things 46-38 in favor of the visitors at the half.
Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field in the first half. Suffolk put together a 51.6 (16-31) connection rate from the floor, 37.5 percent from three and 75 percent at the line. Anna Maria was 50 percent (19-38) from the field, 31.3 percent from beyond-the-arc and 75 at the stripe. Duquette's 14 first-half points paced Suffolk's offense. Two AMCATS had double-digits, Patrick Bradanese and Pryor with 16 and 12, respectively.
Four freebies to open the second stanza pulled Suffolk within four, but Anna Maria answered with five quick points to take its first 10-point lead of the day, 52-42. Determined to stay in the hunt, the Rams rattled off nine unanswered points to make it a one-point game, 52-51.
Out of an Anna Maria timeout, the visitors put in five straight points, before Duquette went on a tangent for the Rams. The senior from Swampscott, Massachusetts, scored eight not just Suffolk's, but the game's points to keep it a two-point game.
After a hoop from Adam Chick, Suffolk went cold and Anna Maria took advantage as the AMCATs went on a 16-5 stretch. Anna Maria's 83-66 lead was too much to overcome for the Rams and the AMCATs walked away with an 88-71 conference victory.
Duquette had a breakout day, shooting 11-of-20 from the floor and went a perfect 6-of-6 at the line for a team-high 28 points. Meister and Michael Hagopian also contributed double-figures with 13 and 11, respectively. Suffolk finished the day shooting 46.6 (27-58) from the field and 91.7 percent (11-12) at the line.
The twosome of Bradanese and Pryor was the difference for Anna Maria, who shot 43.8 percent on the day. Bradanese put in a game-high 30 points on a 10-of-21 performance from the floor. Pryor, meanwhile, finished with 28 points, shooting 9-of-19.
Anna Maria held advantages in boards, 41-35, points in the paint, 40-38, and second chances, 13-6.
Suffolk will open up a three-game road test Wednesday night as the Rams travel to Albertus Magnus Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. Anna Maria is also back in action Wednesday as the AMCATS visit Mount Ida for a 6 p.m. tip.