NEWTON, Mass. – Michael Hagopian secured his spot among Suffolk men's basketball elite Tuesday night at Lasell as the senior eclipsed the 1,000-point milestone. The grand marker was not enough, however, as the Rams fell to the Lasers, 68-64, in non-conference action at the Athletic Center.
SCORE: Suffolk 64 | Lasell 68
RECORDS: Suffolk (3-4) | Lasell (2-7)
HOW IT HAPPENED
See-saw action was present for the first four minutes as the teams swapped the lead five times before a Brendan Mulson triple at the 16:02 minute mark put the blue-and-gold in front, 9-7.
Steven DiPrizio followed suit with jumper to put a two-possession distance between the Rams and the Lasers. It would not remain that way for long as the hosts heated up from downtown with three unanswered treys and a lay-up to cap off an 11-0 run that turned the tides in Lasell's favor, 18-11.
Hagopian broke up the stretch with his first of three buckets from three-point land on the day at the midway point of the opening 20 minutes. The Lasers maintained the advantage and put the Rams in an eight-point hole, 33-25, after outscoring the visitors 8-3 over a 1:39 minute span.
At the 3:04 minute mark of the first, Hagopian's monumental momentum came from just to the right of the top of the key with the Watertown, Massachusetts, local swishing his second shot from behind-the-arc of the night to reach Suffolk's 1K Club and trim the deficit back to five, 33-28.
The Lasers responded once again building an 11-point distance, but a DiPrizio layup with 32 seconds on the clock trimmed the distance back to single digits, 39-30, as the teams headed towards the locker rooms.
Suffolk's comeback started right from the get-go of the second set of 20 minutes as the Rams outscored the Lasers, 12-4 over the first 5:28 to pull within one, 43-42.
A Kevin Querusio layup put the blue-and-gold in front, 44-43, for the first time since the 14:58 minute mark of the first. The lead was extremely shortlived though as the Lasers answered and reclaimed the edge on their next possession.
The Rams continued to put on the pressure and hang with Lasell down the stretch and a pair of freebies by Thomas Duffy with just under four minutes remaining kept it a two-possession game, 59-55.
The score stood at a standstill for the 2:06 as neither team put the ball in the hoop. Duffy broke up the scoring draught on either end and put Suffolk within two, 59-57.
Lasell showed its composure and used a key layup by Dylan Murray with just over a minute to go to put the contest just out of reach.
Running against time, the Rams continued their comeback attempt. Duffy's layup was matched by a pair of Lasell free throws, before Max Bonney-Liles was sent to the charity stripe for three after being fouled from beyond-the-arc. The freshman from Sanborn, New Hampshire did not miss at the line and kept it a three-point game, 65-62, with seven seconds remaining.
Suffolk gambled with the foul game and the Lasers took advantage to keep just enough distance to seal up the win, 68-64.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Duffy led Suffolk's effort with 18 points, 15 of which came in the second half. The junior went 6-for-14 from the field and 5-for-8 at the line. He added five boards and three assists.
- Hagopian's night ended with 11 points, five caroms, a pair of steals and one dime.
- Mulson pitched in 11 points, seven boards, two assists, one block and one steal.
- DiPrizio added a spark off the bench and did not miss from the floor as his perfect 3-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line night gave the forward eight points to go with six caroms and three helpers.
- Bonney-Liles pitched in seven points and seven boards in a reserve effort as well.
- Suffolk shot just 39.0 percent (23-59) as a team on the night and 26.1 percent (6-23) from behind-the-arc.
- The Rams' 80 percent free throw connection rate (12-15) kept the blue-and-gold in the contest.
- The blue-and-gold won the battle on the glass, outrebounding the Lasers, 39-31.
- The usual GNAC foes met in non-conference action.
- Hagopian became the 29th player in Suffolk men's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point milestone and first since Caleb Unni '16 did so in 2016.
- Mulson had his third consecutive contest in double figures, marking his sixth game in double digits this season. He has eclipsed 10 or more points in all, but one of Suffolk's seven games in 2018-19.
- Bonney-Liles had a career-night on the boards with seven rebounds.
- DiPrizio posted a season-best eight points.
Suffolk wraps up its three-game road trip Thursday, Dec. 6 as it visits Lesley. Game time at Medford High School is set for 7 p.m.