BOSTON – Behind tremendous play from Adam Chick, the Suffolk men's basketball team defeated Saint Joseph's (Maine) Tuesday night, 58-53, in GNAC action inside Regan Gymnasium.
Taking the Michael E. Smith and Larry S. Smith for the final time in his four-career Chick made sure to put on a show as the senior poured in a double-double. With 20 points, which match his career high, on a 9-of-11 performance from the floor, the Northbrook, Illinois product produced his third double-double of his career and second of the season on the offensive glass alone with 10 offensive boards. He added six on the defensive end to end the game with 16 caroms to go along with one assist. His 16 total rebounds are not only a career high, but the most by a Rams (7-17, 5-12 GNAC) since Matt Pepdjonovic '13 grabbed 19 in a 78-65 win at Mount Ida February 12, 2013.
Jake Meister also made the most of his final home game as the senior record 17 points, seven rebounds, four handouts and one block. Caleb Unni, who was honored at half time for becoming the 28th member of the Rams' 1,000-point club on February 13, added seven in points and rebounds, respectively.
SJC (8-16, 5-12 GNAC) received a 13-point effort from Craig Luschenat. Darian Berry (11) and Quinn Richardson-New (10) also registered double-figures for the Monks.
The first half was nothing short of exciting as a back-and-forth affair consumed action from the tip to the buzzer signaling the end of the first 20 minutes. SJC jumped ahead to a 6-2 lead before Chick and Matt Duquette put in back-to-back hoops for the Rams to even the game for the first time at six.
After see-saw action, Suffolk capitalized on two quick hoops and a set of freebies from Matt McLean to jump ahead, 16-11. The Monks had an answer to the stretch, however, and with two consecutive fast-break layups it was a one-point game with 9:05 remaining before half time.
The score tied at 18-18 thanks to a put back from Chick and would knot four more times over the final five minutes to send the teams into the locker rooms deadlocked at 29.
Out of the locker rooms things remained tight. Slowly, but surely Suffolk built an edge as the Rams outscored the Monks, 20-11, at the midway point of the second stanza. St. Joseph's continued to battle made things interesting with seven unanswered points to pull within one, 49-48, with 6:02 to play.
A scoreless two minutes ticked off the clock before the whistle signaled a technical foul on Suffolk's Duquette. Luschenat sunk the set at the line, giving SJC its first lead since the first half. Down one, Meister and Chick took the Rams fate into their hands and used hustle plays to regain the lead for the hosts, 53-50, with just over one minute remaining. Down the stretch, the Rams relied on their free throw shooting to secure the 59-53 triumph.
Suffolk concludes the regular season Saturday, Feb. 20 at Lasell at 3 p.m.