BOSTON – Suffolk men's basketball overcame a 12-point deficit late in the second half, but an Emerson layup with five seconds on the clock setback the Rams, 75-73, Tuesday night at Brown & Plofker Gymnasium.
SCORE: Suffolk 73 | Emerson 75
RECORDS: Suffolk (3-3) | Emerson (4-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk's early 7-2 edge was quickly erased as a scoring lull hit the Rams and the Lions capitalize to turn the tides in their favor, 9-7.
See-saw action ensued with the lead swapping three times before Alex Jacovides' sharp shooting from downtown put the blue-and-gold back in front 17-12 at the midway point of the opening half.
Emerson charged back once again. The hosts scored eight unanswered point to put the Rams in a 20-17 hole. Jarret Byrne's first bucket of the night was followed by a traditional three-point play from Max Bonney-Liles that gave Suffolk the advantage, 22-20, with 5:48 to play before half time.
The Rams managed to cling onto the cushion, but it wouldn't stay that way at the intermission as the teams traded hoops over the final 1:45 to head into the locker rooms deadlocked at 33-all.
The Lions leaped out of the locker room to build a 10-point distance that grew to as many as 12, 62-, 60, with 9:06 remaining in regulation.
Each of Suffolk's comeback were held off until Nate Hale's layup at the 6:25 minute mark looked to spark a late rally that saw the Rams cut the margin to five, 65-60. The hosts had other things in mind, however, as they regained a double-digit distance, 71-61, with 3:55 remaining in regulation.
Once again a Hale hoop ignited Suffolk's offense, which was taken over by Thomas Duffy's finesse at the free throw line. The senior captain went 4-for-4 at the charity stripe to close the gap to four, 71-67, with 1:57 left in the non-conference clash.
Out of an Emerson timeout, the Lions regained a two-possession margin, but that was quickly sliced back to one as Duffy buried a bucket from behind-the-arc. A costly Zach Waterhouse turnover for the hosts was converted into three points for the blue-and-gold as Hale hit his third triple of the night to lock the score at 73-all with 33 seconds to go.
Emerson used the shot clock wisely, scoring right before time expired to go up two, 75-73, and give the Rams the ball back with just five seconds to play. Hale managed to get a shot from downtown off, but it was off the mark and William Rowe's offensive rebound came with too little time left to complete the comeback.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Duffy dropped a game-high 27 points, shooting 7-for-15 from the field, 3-for-6 three-point land and 10-for-14 on freebies. The floor general handed out three assists, grabbed five boards and had two takeaways to his credit as well.
- Hale provided a spark on off the bench with a 17-point performance behind a 6-for-14 shooting showing to go along with three caroms, three helpers and one steal.
- Rowe registered an all-around outing with eight boards, seven points, two handouts and one block.
- Suffolk shot just 36.4 percent (24-66) from the floor, 34.8 percent from beyond-the-arc (8-23) and 73.9 percent from the free throw line.
- The Lions outrebounded the Rams, 42-32.
- Duffy notched a season-best 27 points, eclipsing the 20-point plateau for the first time as a senior.
- Hale has hit double figure points in all, but one of Suffolk's six games this season and matched a personal-best three set-ups.
Suffolk makes a pit stop at Smith Court Thursday, Dec. 5 when it entertains Lesley in a 7 p.m. tilt.