BOSTON – In the first leg of its fourth-straight bid to claim the second GNAC Championship title in program history, the Suffolk men's basketball team will take on the second-seeded Lasers of Lasell in the first round of the conference tournament Tuesday night inside the Lasers' Athletic Center.
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Quarterfinals - Tuesday, Feb. 23
Game 1: #8 Saint Joseph's Maine at #1 Johnson & Wales - 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: #5 Emmanuel at #4 Anna Maria - 7:00 p.m.
Game 3: #6 Mount Ida at #3 Albertus Magnus - 7:00 p.m.
Game 4: #7 Suffolk at #2 Lasell - 7:00 p.m.
Semifinals – Thursday, Feb. 25
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner
Championship – Saturday, Feb. 27
Game 7: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner
WE MEET AGAIN
The Rams will meet the Lasers for the first time in GNAC postseason play, but Tuesday's matchup will mark the teams' third meeting this season and the second time they've tipped-off against each other in four days.
Saturday afternoon, the Rams came away with a 67-66 win on Lasell's home court when senior Adam Chick hit a crucial free throw in the game's final second. In doing so, Suffolk secured its fate in locking up the seventh seed in the postseason tournament.
Seniors Jake Meister, Chick and Caleb Unni led the Rams' offense in the win as Meister put away 19 points, while Chick provided 15 points off a 7-of-12 performance and eight rebounds. Unni added a 13-point performance, shooting 3-of-6 from behind-the arc, and brought down six rebounds. Junior Matt Duquette added a spark on the glass with six boards in the second half.
The Lasers took the victory earlier in the regular season when they bested the Rams 88-56 inside Regan Gymnasium on January 21. After a six-point deficit at half, 44-38, Lasell, undefeated in conference play at the time, quickly built a double-digit lead. The 10-point edge quickly doubled and went on to triple for the Lasers to run away with the win.
RUN DOWN ON THE RAMS
• Suffolk (8-17, 6-12 GNAC) has won four out of its last five games, all of which were against GNAC opponents.
• Jake Meister and Matt Duquette lead the Rams' offense, averaging 15.8 and 14.7 points, respectively. Meister is also shooting 42.5 percent from the floor and 81.9 percent from the free throw line, while Duquette is averaging 5.5 rebounds per game.
• Suffolk puts in 64.8 points per game as a team on a 41.3 connection rate from the floor, 34.1 beyond-the-arc and 71.1 percent at the free throw line. The Rams grab 33.8 boards per game led by Adam Chick's 6.2.
LOWDOWN ON THE LASERS
• Lasell (17-8, 14-4 GNAC) will enter the postseason in search of a second GNAC title for the program with the first coming in 2008 when it captured the championship after its first year in the conference.
• The Lasers have appeared in the league tournament during six out of the last eight years and have made it at least as far as the semifinals in five of those seasons.
• Lasell has lost three out of its last four games, all against GNAC opponents. As a team, the Lasers are averaging 81.2 points per game, shooting 46.2 percent from the floor, 37.8 percent from three, 73.2 percent from the foul line, and are bringing down 41.8 boards.
•Offensively, Lasell is led by Armin Omanovic, who is averaging 23.4 points per game in GNAC action. Pat Marchand leads the Lasers on the glass averaging 10.4 rebounds per game.
RAMS IN THE GNAC TOURNAMENT
Suffolk has appeared in all, but two GNAC Tournaments since joining the conference in 2000, and will make its 13th Tuesday night. In 2002, the regular-season champion (17-10, 10-3 GNAC) Rams ran the post-season table and captured its first ever GNAC title with a 76-71 triumph over Johnson & Wales. Suffolk University Hall of Famer Jason Luisi was named Tournament MVP and to the all-tournament team along with Flynn Pagnam and Winston Daley.
A VICTORY WOULD…
A win over the Lasers would mark Suffolk's first GNAC Quarterfinal victory since 2007 when the Rams defeated Emerson 80-75 to advance to the semi-final round.