WALTHAM, Mass. – The Suffolk men's basketball team saw eight different players record career nights, but it would not be enough to overcome Brandeis as the Rams fell to the Judges, 87-78, at Red Auerbach Arena Tuesday night in both team's season opener.
SCORE: Suffolk 78, Brandeis 87
RECORDS: Suffolk (0-1) | Brandeis (1-0)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Michael Hagopian opened the scoring of the game and of the season with the sophomore putting away a jump shot to boost the Rams to a 7-2 lead at the 16:03 minute mark. The Judges slowly, but surely chipped away at the deficit and flipped the lead arrow in their favor at 12:37, putting Suffolk in an 11-9 hole.
From there, the score would tie twice and the leader changed four times before intermission with Brandeis going on a 9-3 spurt to leap ahead, 31-23 with 2:34 to play before half. Over the final two minutes in the first frame, Suffolk sunk six points to hang around, but the Judges had an answer for nearly all of them to hold a 36-29 halftime advantage.
Out of the break, Brandeis built its largest lead of 13, 52-39, at 15:21 and despite frequent comeback attempts from Suffolk, the distance was too large and the Judges hung on for the 87-78 season opening win.
- Hagopian, who led four Rams in double figures scoring, put away a career-high 17 points on a 7-of-13 shooting effort from the field and a 3-of-6 showing from deep. He added three rebounds, two assists and one steal to his stat line.
- Jim Djema had a career day in his first collegiate start. The sophomore notched 16 points, three rebounds, three steals and two handouts.
- Off the bench in his collegiate debut, freshman George Grillakis added a spark of 14 points, three boards, three steals and one assists.
- Steven DiPrizio rounded out Suffolk's double figure scorers with a 13-point effort, shooting 5-of-7 from the field and one-for-two from behind the arc.
- Freshman Thomas Duffy earned the start in his first collegiate game and made the most of it, grabbing a team-high seven caroms to go along with six points and one dish.
- Suffolk put together an impressive shooting percent, connecting on 50.9 percent from the field (29-57), but struggled from three-point range, going 7-for-24 (29.2), but made up for it at the line with an 86.7 percent (13-15) connection rate.
- Brandeis won the battle on the glass, 31-24, but Suffolk dominanted the inside game, scoring nearly half of its 78 points inside the paint.
- Eight different Rams notched career bests in the opener with six making their debuts in Suffolk blue and gold.
Suffolk takes its talents to Rochester, New York, over the weekend for Rochester's Chuck Resler Tournament. The Rams will face Washington and Lee Friday, Nov. 18 at 3 p.m., with the winner advancing to the championship game the following day at 6 p.m. versus the winner of the tournament host Rochester and Alfred. The losing teams of Friday's contests will square off in the consolation round at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19.