PAXTON, Mass. – The Suffolk men's basketball team found itself in a 21-point hole early in the second half and the Rams stormed back to pull within four, twice, but Anna Maria held off Suffolk's comeback to defeat the blue-and-gold 75-69, Tuesday night at the Fuller Activities Center.
SCORE: Suffolk 69, Anna Maria 75
RECORDS: Suffolk (11-8, 6-4 GNAC) | Anna Maria (5-15, 2-9 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
A see-saw affair was present for nearly seven minutes as the lead was exchanged six times before Anna Maria took the edge for the remainder of the first 20 minutes.
The AMCATS built on their 13-11 advantage and turned it into a 30-18 edge as Suffolk hit a scoring lull that lasted nearly five minutes.
Thomas Duffy jump started a Rams' 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 32-25 before a media timeout was called with 4:48 remaining in the first frame. Out of the timeout, the hosts regained a 12-point lead. Duffy put away his third set of free throws on the night to trim the margin to nine, 41-32, at the half.
Out of the locker room, Suffolk attempted to play catch up, but Anna Maria built a hefty 21-point lead instead with 12:12 on the clock.
The Rams did not get discouraged as they rallied behind Duffy, who put away a set of freebies to start 14-0 blue-and-gold run. The unanswered points pulled Suffolk within six, 64-58.
Mike Rapoza ended the scoring stretch for Suffolk and the teams' battled over the final seven minutes.
George Grillakis pulled the Rams within four at the 2:11 minute mark thanks to back-to-back buckets. Anna Maria responded and Brendan Mulson put away a free throw to make it a two-possession game once again with just over a minute to go.
From there, the Rams gambled with the foul game, sending the AMCATS to win it at the line and they did as Chris Contento and Kenneth Graham each went 1-on-2 on their trips for the final 75-69 decision.
- Duffy produced 16 points thanks to a perfect 6-for-6 showing at the charisty stripe. The junior added six rebounda and five assists to his state line.
- Off the bench Grillakis registered 11 points on a 5-for-7 effort from the field, while Alex Jacovides pitched in 10 points, shooting 4-for-6 from the floor and 2-for-2 from downtown.
- Brendan Mulson led Suffolk on the glass with eight rebounds to go along with six points with Hagopian pitching in nine points.
- The AMCATS out rebounded the Rams, 32-28.
- Duffy had his 16th overall game and fifth consecutive contest with double figures in scoring.
- Grillakis contributed double digits for the fourth time this season.
- Jacovides notched double figures for the third time in his career.
- Jeff Juron used the starting five of Jim Djema, Michael Hagopian, Duffy, Mulson and Kevin Querusio.
Suffolk heads back to the friendly confines of Regan Gymnasium for the final Rams' basketball double feature of the season. The women's team gets the action going Thursday, Feb. 1 at 5 p.m. against Anna Maria before the men's team has a rematch with Albertus Magnus at 8 p.m.