STANDISH, Maine – The Suffolk men's basketball team outlasted Saint Joseph's (Maine), 80-78, in a hard-fought GNAC battle Wednesday evening at the Harold Alfond Center.
SCORE: Suffolk 80 | Saint Joseph's (Maine) 78
RECORDS: Suffolk (13-6, 4-1 GNAC) | Saint Joseph's (Maine) (15-5, 5-2 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The well-matched conference foes swapped the lead eight times – all in the first half – but the Rams gained separation with a 13-4 run in the four minutes leading up to the halftime to take a 45-36 advantage into the intermission.
Just 22 seconds into the second half Brendan Mulson connected on a triple to extend the Rams' edge to a game-high 12 points, 48-36.
The Monks fought back into contention with a 16-6 surge to cut it to a 54-52 margin with 12:30 remaining.
Suffolk pushed its lead back to eight points, 64-56, after Mulson netted a layup with 8:07 on the clock, but SJC posted a 10-2 outbreak, to lock the game at 66-apiece with 6:02 left to play.
The conference counterparts essentially traded blows during the following four minutes. St. Joe's leveled the playing field once again at 73-73 behind a pair of free throws from Ian Mileikis with 1:28 left on the clock. From there Suffolk managed to net five unanswered points – with a put-back from Steven DiPrizio and a trey off the fingertips of Michael Hagopian – while milking a minute off the clock.
A clutch three pointer by Jack Hostelter pulled the hosts back within two points with 14 seconds left, but Thomas Duffy connected on a set of freebies with 10 seconds to go to seal the Rams' victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Mulson paced the Rams with 12 points and added seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
- DiPrizio approached double-double status with 16 points and eight caroms. The power forward was perfect from the field (7-7) and at the charity stripe (2-2).
- Duffy registered 12 points, five board and five dimes.
- Hagopian helped with 10 points and three rebounds.
- Overall the Rams outrebounded the Monks, 39-23.
- Suffolk parlayed a 13-3 offensive rebounding advantage into a 16-4 lead in second-chance points.
- Suffolk won its third straight game versus Saint Joseph's (Maine), the longest win streak in the all-time series versus the Monks.
- The Rams moved to 7-16 all-time against the Monks.
- Suffolk is now 4-3 versus SJC with Jeff Juron on the bench.
- Jim Djema matched a career-high eight rebounds.
- Jonathan Eng matched a personal-best one block.
Suffolk is headed back to Boston as it is set to host Colby Sawyer Saturday, Feb. 2. The blue-and-gold will take on the Chargers as a league foe for the first time at 3 p.m. after the Rams honor its four seniors – DiPrizio, Djema, Hagopian and Kevin Querusio.