STANDISH, Maine – Suffolk University (13-6, 4-1 GNAC) outlasted Saint Joseph's College (15-5, 5-2 GNAC), 80-78, in a hard-fought Great Northeast Athletic Conference men's basketball contest at the Harold Alfond Center on Wednesday evening.
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 halftime and carried a 45-36 advantage heading into intermission. Suffolk sophomore guard Brendan Mulson (Albany, N.Y.) connected for a three-pointer 22 seconds into the final frame to extend his team's lead to a game-high 12 points (48-36).
The Monks fought back into contention with a 16-6 surge as a pair of layups from freshman forward David Keohan (West Newfield, Maine) capped the SJC run with the hosts trailing by a 54-52 margin with 12:30 remaining.
The Rams extended their lead to eight points (64-56) after Mulson netted a layup with 8:07 on the clock, but the Monks posted a 10-2 outbreak, closed out by a Jack Hostetler (Somers, Conn.) three-pointer, tying the game at 66-apiece with 6:02 left to play.
The conference counterparts essentially traded blows during the following four minutes. Senior guard Ian Mileikis (Auburn, Maine) hitting a pair of free throws to tie the game at 73-73 with 1:28 remaining, but Suffolk managed to net five unanswered points - with a put-back from junior forward Steven DiPrizio (Medford, Mass.) and a three-pointer off the fingertips of senior guard Michael Hagopian (Watertown, Mass.) – while milking a minute off the clock.
Hostetler drilled a clutch three-pointer to make it a two-point (78-76) game with 14 seconds left, but junior guard Thomas Duffy (Fairfield, Conn.) made a pair of free throws 10 seconds later to seal the visitors' victory.
STATS OF THE GAME:
Suffolk parlayed a 13-3 offensive rebounding advantage into a 16-4 lead in second-chance points…The Monks' bench outscored the Rams' reserves by a 29-15 margin in the losing effort.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Senior guard Darian Berry (Rochester, N.H.) netted 20 points with three rebounds, two steals, and a pair of blocked shots
- Hostetler came off the bench to net 12 points off a 4-for-6 three-point shooting performance
- Keohan contributed 11 points off a 5-for-8 shooting effort in just 12 minutes
- Sophomore guard Jack Casale (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) chipped in with seven points, eight rebounds, and three assists
- Sophomore Tatsuaki Sakai (Ishikawa, Japan) and senior Marc Corey (Londonderry, N.H.) scored eight points apiece
LEADERS – SUFFOLK:
- Mulson paced the Rams with 21 points and added seven rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots
- DiPrizio approached double-double status with 16 points and eight caroms and was perfect from the field (7-7) and the FT line (2-2)
- Duffy registered 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists
- Hagopian added 10 points and three rebounds
With the loss, Saint Joseph's falls to 16-7 all-time versus Suffolk University, which has now defeated the Monks in three-consecutive meetings for the first time in the history of the series. The Rams ended the Monks' 2017-18 season with a 69-65 victory in the quarterfinal round of last year's GNAC Tournament.
The Monks travel to Boston on Saturday for a 1:00 PM GNAC matchup at Emmanuel College. The Saints, 5-0 in conference play as of tonight, are the only GNAC team with an unblemished record.