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SAINTS SNEAK BY SUFFOLK ON SENIOR DAY, 56-54

2017 Men's Basketball Senior Day
2017 Men's Basketball Senior Day

BOSTON, Mass. – The senior trio of Julian Diggs (Centerville, Va.), Matt Raine (Miami, Fla.) and Aidan Hadley (Owls Head, Maine) came up big on senior day combining for 36 points and 27 rebounds to power Emmanuel College past Suffolk University, 56-54, Saturday afternoon at the Andy Yosinoff Court. The Saints improve to 7-14 overall and 6-8 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action while the loss dips the Rams to 6-15 and 5-9.

Prior to the start of the game, the Emmanuel College Athletic Department recognized Diggs, Raine and Hadley in a brief senior day ceremony.

The first half featured five ties as well as five lead changes as the Saints raced out to an early 10-4 lead with all their points coming from their three seniors. Suffolk evened the score at 12-12 after a three from sophomore guard Michael Hagopian (Watertown, Mass.) with 12:56 to play in the half. After trading hoops, Suffolk put together a 4-0 spurt capped by a jumper from freshman guard Thomas Duffy (Fairfield, Conn.) to take an 18-14 lead.

Over the next five minutes, the Rams continued to hold a small lead until Hadley gave the hosts a 29-28 advantage with team-leading 12th point of the half. The squads continued to exchange baskets through the final two minutes of the half capped by a layup in traffic by Diggs to give the Saints a 33-31 cushion heading into the halftime intermission.

At the break, EC held a 19-11 rebounding advantage while the Rams bench outscored the host reserves 8-4.

Diggs connected on a three early in the second stanza to extend the Emmanuel advantage to 40-34 matching its largest lead of the first half and forcing the visitors to take a timeout. Out of the break, the Rams scored back-to-back hoops to make it a two point contest at 40-38 with 14 minutes remaining in the second half.

Duffy gave Suffolk its first lead of the second half on a left handed layup with just over nine minutes left to make it 42-41, Rams but the Saints answered as junior Alex Minetti (Wakefield, R.I.) hit a runner in the paint to pull the hosts back on top 43-42.

Suffolk freshman guard Jonathan Eng (Wayland, Mass.) buried a deep triple for his first points of the afternoon to give the visitors a 45-43 lead. The three-ball started a quick 6-0 run to give the Rams their largest lead of the afternoon at 48-43 with 5:44 left. The Saints called a timeout to stop the bleeding and out of the break Hadley converted a put-back layup to pull EC to within three at 48-45. The teams traded buckets before EC freshman Emmett Riddick (Middletown, Conn.) connected on a pair of bonus free throws with 3:15 remaining to cut the deficit to one at 50-49.

The Rams maintained a one-point lead at 54-53 as the Saints forced a Suffolk turnover to give the hosts a chance to take the lead with under a minute to play. EC called a timeout with 41 tics remaining and on the ensuing set Riddick converted a reverse layup with 22 seconds to play to give Emmanuel a 55-54 lead.

Suffolk advanced the ball and used a timeout with 7.6 second remaining in regulation to set up a play for the win. Out of the break, the Rams missed a baseline jumper allowing Riddick to collect the rebound with 4.1 seconds left. The rookie was immediately fouled and missed the front end of the double-bonus. A visitor timeout after the miss trying to ice the shooter was unsuccessful as Riddick connected on the second free throw to give the hosts a 56-54 lead. Another Suffolk timeout still with 4.1 second remaining set the stage for the final play but the visitors were unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer resulting in a 56-54 final.

Hadley finished with his fourth career double-double with game highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds. Raine was one rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine boards while Diggs rounded out the solid senior showing with a nine point, seven rebound and four assist outing.

For the Rams, Duffy finished with a team-high 13 points while Hagopian and sophomore Jim Djema (Greenwich, Conn.) finished with 10 points each.

Both teams are back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at home as the Rams play host to Lasell while the Saints welcome Norwich in a pair of GNAC tilts. Both games are scheduled to tip at 7:00 PM.