SCORE: Suffolk 73, Emmanuel 69
RECORDS: Suffolk (8-6, 3-2 GNAC) | Emmanuel (2-14, 1-6 GNAC)
THE LEAD: Michael Hagopian struck on four triples and scored a game-high 20 points to pace Suffolk in a thrilling 73-69 victory over Boston and GNAC rival Emmanuel Thursday night at Regan Gymnasium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a back-and-forth opening, Suffolk found itself in 10-point hole, 16-6, just 7:16 in as Emmanuel rattled off 12 unanswered points.
The Rams began their comeback behind a 10-0 stretch, which including six points from Hagopian, to even the score at 18-all with 6:12 on the clock. Colin Cordero made sure the Saints remained in front with a traditional three-point play, but Brendan Mulson evened the playing field for the fifth time with an and-1 on the other end.
On the next play, Kevin Querusio converted his steal into two points thanks to a highlight reel set-up from Jim Djema to give Suffolk its first lead since the 17:18 minute mark.
The team's traded the advantage twice more down the stretch with the scoring three times before Hagopian swished a three with two seconds left in the first frame to send Suffolk into the locker room up 31-28.
It took 3:05 for Suffolk to get going out of the locker room in the second half, but once they did the Rams gained their largest lead of the evening at that point, 40-34, forcing a Saints timeout with 13:23 remaining in regulation.
Suffolk slowly built its lead up and put double digit distance between itself and the Saints, 48-38, on as Cameron Power buried his second triple of the night.
In a game of runs, Emmanuel played catch up once again. The Saints used a 9-0 spurt to turn the tides and put the Rams in a 53-51 hole with 6:50 left.
The Rams gained composure in a timeout and battled back, equalizing the playing field twice before Mulson flipped the switch putting the blue-and-gold in front, 57-55.
A see-saw affair ensued before Hagopian struck from down in back-to-back possessions, stretching Suffolk's edge back to 63-58.
Djema built a seven-point cushion for the Rams late as the junior swished a three at the top of the key and turned a Saints turnover into an easy two points.
With under a minute to play, the Saints put on full court pressure and gambled with sending Suffolk to the charity stripe. Mulson and Hagopian took care of business at the line, each connecting on a set, but Emmanuel's persistence paid off as Zachary Crisafulli cut the deficit to three for the visitors with a layup in the final seconds.
The Saints comeback fell short as George Grillakis sealed up the 73-69 victory for Suffolk with a good free throw.
- Hagopian's game-high 20 points came off a 7-for-12 effort from the field and a 4-for-7 showing from downtown. The junior led four Rams in double figures and added six rebounds and a pair of blocks.
- Mulson contributed on both ends of the hardwood with 15 points and eight rebounds. The rookie shot 60 percent (6-10) from the field and went 3-for-4 at the line.
- Duffy had 12 points, while Djema, who went 4-for-6 on the night and 2-for-4 from behind-the-arc, rounded out the Rams in double digit with 10.
- As a team, Suffolk shot 51.9 percent (27-52) as a squad and excelled at the line, putting together a 73.3 connection rate.
- Emmanuel, meanwhile, shot 50.9 percent (29-57) from the floor as a squad.
- The Rams outrebounded the Saints, 33-24.
- Suffolk defeated Emmanuel inside Regan Gymnasium for the first time since Dec. 5, 2015, a 79-72 victory over the Saints.
- The win marks the Rams 10th-ever over the Saints.
- Suffolk, who improved to 7-0 at home, has put together the most wins in front of its home crowd since going 7-4 on its own hardwood in the 2003-04 season.
- Suffolk matched its greatest win total (8) under Jeff Juron.
- Hagopian's 20-point effort marked the third time this season he produced 20 points or more.
- Juron used the starting five of Djema, Hagopian, Duffy, Mulson, and Querusio for the 14th time this year. That lineup improved to 8-6 on the season.
- Joe Tamburro led Emmanuel with 14 points while Marcus Fox chipped in with 13 points.
Suffolk is set to visit Johnson & Wales Saturday, Jan. 20 for a 1 p.m. tip-off while Emmanuel is now idle until Thursday, Jan. 25 when they play host to Suffolk in a rematch of tonight's affair.
*Release courtesy of Suffolk University Athletic Communications