BOSTON – The Suffolk men's basketball team overcame a 16-point half-time deficit to secure a 68-56 win over Saint Joseph's (Maine) in the GNAC opener Saturday afternoon inside Regan Gymnasium.
SCORE: Suffolk 68, St. Joseph's (Maine) 56
RECORDS: Suffolk (2-4, 1-0 GNAC) | St. Joseph's (Maine) (2-3, 0-1 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The teams traded hoops in the opening minutes before the visitors swished back-to-back triples to grab a 10-4 advantage. Brendan Mulson answered with a trey of his own and Michael Hagopian made a baby jumper to trim the deficit to one.
Cameron Powers turned the tides in the Rams' favor as the sophomore guard put away a three-ball from the corner, but the lead was shortlived as the Monks responded with a pair of buckets from behind-the-arc to go up 19-14.
Suffolk played catch up once again and five consecutive points from Mulson locked the game at 22-all with just under five minutes remaining in the half. St. Joe's called a timeout to talk things over and used the break to gain composure as the Monks went on a 16-0 run to end the half, sending the Rams into the locker rooms down 38-22.
With a lot of ground to make up, Hagopian took things into his own hands as the junior captain put away the Rams first field goal in 6:21 with a shot from downtown to start Suffolk's comeback.
In a game of runs, Hagopian went on one of his own outscoring the Monks, 10-4, including a four-point play to make it a two-possession game, 43-36, at the 13:53 minute mark.
The score locked twice before a pair of free throw by Grillakis gave the Rams their first lead of the day, 51-49. From there, Suffolk built a 10-point advantage, 59-49, but there was still a lot of time left, 5:59.
St. Joe's sandwiched triples around a Mulson layup to keep things interesting as the Rams held onto a 61-55 lead with 3:10 to play.
Neither team added to their score from there until the Monks gambled with the foul game sending Duffy to the line in double bonus with 56.3 seconds on the clock. The sophomore made the pair and the Monks turned the ball over on the other end.
From there, the Rams maintained their composure with Duffy going 5-for-6 at the charity stripe down the stretch to secure the 68-56 victory for Suffolk.
- Hagopian led the way for Suffolk as he shot 7-for-15 from the floor and did not miss from both three-point range (4-4) and the foul line (3-3) to finish the day with 21 points. He added five rebounds and one takeaway to his effort.
- Duffy notched double figures for the fifth time this season with 18 points, all of which came in the second half. The sophomore used 13 trips to the free throw line for 11 of his points, while he dished out five dimes and grabbed three boards.
- Mulson rounded out the Rams in double figures with 15 thanks to a 6-for-11 showing from the floor and 3-for-5 effort from long range. The freshman had five steals, three caroms and one block on his stat line as well.
- Off the bench, Grillakis pitched in a game-high 10 rebounds, five on either end, and seven points.
- Suffolk shot 46.7 percent (12-26) over the second set of 20 minutes including an 85.7 connection rate (6-7) from three-point land to aid in the victory.
- The Rams finished the night with a 37.5 percentage from the field (21-56) and a 52.6 percentage (10-19) from downtown.
- Suffolk held the upperhand on the glass, 37-34.
- St. Joseph's had a pair of players notch double digits in Darian Berry (19) and Jack Casale (18).
- Suffolk opened up GNAC action with a victory for the first time since 2013-14.
- It is the first time in the Jeff Juron era that the Rams put a tally in the win column in the first league outing of the year.
- Suffolk improved to 9-10 all-time in the first league game of the season.
- The Rams opened up conference play at home for the 12th straight season and met the Monks on the first day of conference action for the second consecutive campaign and third time overall.
- Suffolk improved to 2-1 when meeting the Monks in the first conference contest of the season with the Rams picking up their fifth victory over SJC in the all-time series.
- Duffy notched double digits for the fifth time this season.
- Hagopian recorded 20-plus points for the second time this season and seventh time in his career.
- Mulson produced career bests in points (15) and steals (5) with the rookie registering his first double digit game of his collegiate career.
- Grillakis' 10 rebounds mark a career high for the sophomore.
Suffolk takes one day off before returning to action when the Rams step out of conference play and visit Wheelock Monday, Dec. 4. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.