NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Trailing by 20 points at halftime, the Suffolk men's basketball team stormed out of the locker room and pulled within six of Albertus Magnus, but the Falcons did not let the Rams get any closer, to hold on for the 81-74 GNAC victory inside the Nest Saturday afternoon.
SCORE: Suffolk 74, Albertus Magnus 81
RECORDS: Suffolk (2-7, 1-2 GNAC) | Albertus Magnus (6-2, 2-1 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk hung with Albertus Magnus for the first three minutes before the Falcons heated up, outscoring the Rams, 22-0 to gain a 27-4 advantage nearly 10 minutes into the first half. Jonathan Eng ended Suffolk's draught at 10:22, but a Rams frenzy did not ensue as the hosts kept the visitors an arm's length away down the stretch to take a 20-point, 47-27, lead into half time.
The second stanza turned into comeback city for Suffolk. The Rams slowly, but surely made it a ball game. Climbing out of a 24-point hole, the Rams rallied behind a 20-5 swing to pull capped off by Matt McLean's second trey ball of the stretch to pull within nine, 56-47, with 11:49 on the clock.
The Falcons answered with a triple of their own and a pair of free throws to regain a double figure margin, but a traditional three-point play by McLean followed to keep things interesting at the midway point of the stanza.
The contest turned into a battle at the charity stripe with the team's trading set of freebies. The Rams were the first to couple two consecutive sets together with Steven DiPrizio and Michael Hagopian putting in a pair apiece to cut the deficit to seven, 63-56, with 7:13 on the clock.
The Falcons answered with a pair of free throws of their own and the first field goal in over three minutes to retake an 11-point distance. Quinn McCartney would not have it however, with the senior knocking down a three from long range to keep Suffolk within three possessions.
Determined for the comeback, McLean swished treys three and four to cut the margin to 71-65 with 2:33 on the clock. With 1:04 to play, DiPrizio went split a set at the line and the Rams relied on the foul game.
Thomas Duffy kept Suffolk in the game as the freshman went on a 5-1 run by himself, which included a traditional three-point play, to keep things at a six-point deficit with 41 seconds to play.
Albertus Magnus went 4-for-4 at the line down the stretch to keep the Rams at bay and secure the conference victory, 81-74
- McLean and Djema led the way for the Rams with 15 points each. McLean shot 5-for-10 from the field, including 4-for-6 from behind the arc and added two rebounds, one assist and one steal in his reserve performance. Djema, meanwhile, was stellar from the charity stripe, going 7-for-8, and added four handouts, two steals and two caroms to his stat line.
- DiPrizio recorded 14 points on a 6-for-8 showing from the line, nine boards, two blocks, one assist and one steal.
- Duffy joined the upperclassmen in double figures with 10 points, shooting 3-for-4, with two hoops coming in the final two minutes of play. The rookie reserve also chipped in seven boards.
- The Rams shot 41.5 percent for the afternoon from the field, 42.1 percent from deep and 78.6 percent at the line.
- Albertus Magnus, who struggled from the floor, 33.9 percent and from three-point land, 27.8 percent, outrebounded the rams, 46-34.
- McLean had a career-day with his 15-point showing off the bench.
- Duffy's 10 points marked a career-high for the freshman.
Suffolk concludes 2016 action at UMass Boston Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.