SUFFOLK HOLDS ON TO BEST MEN'S HOOPS IN GNAC SHOWDOWN, 90-81

SUFFOLK HOLDS ON TO BEST MEN'S HOOPS IN GNAC SHOWDOWN, 90-81

BOSTON, Mass. – Four different Rams produced double figures to help the Suffolk University men's basketball take down Boston and GNAC rival Emmanuel College, 90-81, Tuesday night inside Regan Gymnasium. With the win, Suffolk slides into first-place in the conference standings.

THE BASICS

SCORE: Suffolk 90 | Emmanuel 81

RECORDS: Suffolk (15-6, 6-1 GNAC) | Emmanuel (15-6, 6-2 GNAC)

HOW IT HAPPENED
After a pair of lead changes, Connor Byrne secured the advantage for Suffolk once again and Alex Jacovides sandwiched a pair of triples around a Saints' timeout to push its edge to 18-11 early on.

Emmanuel sliced the margin back to two before Michael Hagopian and Thomas Duffy coupled a pair of hoops together to rebuild a two-possession game, 22-18, in the hosts favors at the midway point.

Suffolk heated up from there as the Rams' rattled eight unanswered points including two buckets from behind-the-arc off Hagopian's hands to gain a double-digit distance, 30-18, at the 8:09 minute mark.

Jacovides, Duffy and Hagopian continued to pile on the points for the blue-and-gold. The trio outscored the Saints, 11-2, to stretch Suffolk's cushion to 41-22 and force Emmanuel to use its third timeout of the opening frame.

The Rams did not cool off in the huddle, however, as Jacovides responded a Saints' Isaiah Ruffen tip in with his fourth triple of the half to make it a 20-point game in Suffolk's favor, 44-24, with 4:11 to go before the break.

Emmanuel made a late 10-2 run to trim the deficit to 12, 48-36, at the half.

The Saints late first frame momentum carried into the second as they pulled within seven, 59-52, within the first five minutes out of the locker room. Jacovides' sharp shooting pushed the margin back to double figures on the Rams' next possession.

From there the blue-and-gold went ahead by as many as 14. The gap proved to not be big enough to keep Emmanuel as the visitors strung together a 13-4 spurt to make things interesting, 72-69, with 7:27 on the clock.

Once again it was Jacovides who responded for the Rams as the junior knocked down his sixth long ball of the night. The bucket from behind-the-arc wasn't enough to hold off the Saints though as the Beantown battle kept the standing-room only crowd on the edge of its seats as it turned into a two-point Suffolk game with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.

Steven DiPrizio went bucket-for-bucket with the Saints. The junior forward commanded the Rams' offense with turn-around jumpers in the paint and a traditional three-point play to keep the hosts in front, 83-77.

Emmanuel used a timeout at the 2:06 minute mark to slow Suffolk down once again. Out of the huddle, the Saints pressure defense backfired as an Emmanuel foul behind the arc sent Jacovides to the line for three. Jacovides knocked down the three freebies to make it a nine-point gap.

With time ticking off the clock, the Saints sent Suffolk to win things at the line and it did to take the 90-81 league decision.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Suffolk jumped out to a hot start, shooting 63.3 percent from the field (19-3) and 62.5 percent (10-16) from three-point land over the first of 20 minutes.
  • The Rams finished the night going 55.9 percent (33-59) from the floor, 50.0 percent (13-26) from beyond-the-arc and did not miss in their 11 attempts at the charity stripe, all of which came in the second stanza.
  • Jacovides anchored Suffolk's offense with a 25-point performance. The sophomore shot 7-for-12 on the day including 6-for-8 from downtown and 5-for-5 at the line. He chipped in six boards and one takeaway in a reserve effort.
  • Duffy and Hagopian each contributed 19 points. Duffy, who went 8-for-14 from the field, set-up seven shots, pulled down four caroms and two steals.
  • DiPrizio completed the foursome in double figures with 15 points to go along with four rebounds and a pair of dimes.
  • Emmanuel, who also had a quartet in double figures led by 27 from Emmett Riddick, outrebounded the Rams, 36-28.
  • Seniors Joe Tamburro and Isaiah Ruffen each finished with 17 points for EC while sophomore Marcus Fox added 13.

NOTEWORTHY

  • Suffolk defeated Emmanuel in the conference and city foes' fourth straight meeting. The four wins in a row against the Saints is a first for the Rams in the all-time series, which dates back to 2002.
  • The Rams improve to 5-2 against Emmanuel in the Jeff Juron era.
  • Suffolk moved to 12-24 versus Emmanuel all-time.
  • The win marks Suffolk's 15th of the season, which matches last year's total victories and the most under Jeff Juron.
  • With his name in the starting line-up tonight, Hagopian became the 15th player in Suffolk men's basketball history to compete in 100 games and first since Adam Chick '16 in 2016.
  • Jacovides had a career-high triples made with six and matched a personal-best 25 points.

WHAT'S AHEAD?

A trip to Nashua, New Hampshire is set for Suffolk Saturday, Feb. 9 as the Rams stop by Rivier for a 1:00 PM conference battle. Emmanuel also hits the road on Saturday, heading to Colby-Sawyer for another GNAC showdown.

*Release courtesy of Suffolk University Sports Information