STANDISH, Maine – #6 Suffolk University (15-11) outlasted third-seeded Saint Joseph's College (16-10), 69-65, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball tournament quarterfinal contest at the Harold Alfond Center on Tuesday night.
With the result, Suffolk moves on to the semifinal round of the GNAC tourney and will play at #2 Johnson & Wales University on Thursday evening, time TBD.
For Saint Joseph's, the loss signals the end of the 2017-18 season as well as the collegiate careers of the Monks' two seniors: Quinn Richardson-Newton (Saco, Maine) and Aaron Hall (Haverhill, Mass.), a pair of forwards who have combined to start 98 games on the post over the last two seasons.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Rams claimed the only double-digit lead of the night – 63-53 – when freshman guard Brendan Mulson (Albany, N.Y.) hit a layup with 3:05 remaining, but the Monks climbed back to within five points with a 7-2 run, as a conventional three-point play from first-year Jack Casale (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) made it a 65-60 game with 1:38 left.
Casale connected on a pair of field goals in the closing minute, the latter making it a 66-64 game with 17 seconds left, and junior guard Ian Mileikis (Auburn, Maine) made a free throw seven seconds later to make it a one-point game.
Forced to foul, the Monks tagged Suffolk guard Michael Hagopian (Watertown, Mass.), who missed the second freebie to leave the door open for the hosts. But a turnover on the ensuing fast break down the court proved costly, and Rams sophomore guard Thomas Duffy (Fairfield, Conn.) made a pair of free throws to clinch the win for the visitors.
STAT OF THE GAME:
Saint Joseph's made just one three-pointer on 12 attempts in the loss while Suffolk shot 47.6% (10-21) from beyond the arc in the tourney triumph.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Mileikis netted 19 points with four boards and three assists
- Junior forward Jae Johns (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) made the most of his 15 minutes off the bench, going 5-8 from the field and 4-5 from the stripe en route to scoring a career-high 14 points
- Casale added 10 points, four rebounds, and a pair of assists
- Junior guard Darian Berry (Rochester, N.H.) pulled down 10 rebounds and scored five points
- Hall scored eight points with five rebounds
- Richardson-Newton chipped in with four points and seven caroms
LEADERS – SUFFOLK:
- Hagopian was 6-10 from three-point distance with five rebounds and two assists
- Duffy netted 22 points with seven boards and three dimes
- Junior guard Jim Djema (Greenwich, Conn.) and sophomore guard George Grillakis (Lowell, Mass.) chipped in with eight points apiece
With the loss, Saint Joseph's falls to 16-6 in the history of the series with Suffolk University and suffers consecutive losses at the hands of the Rams for the first time in the history of the matchup.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.