STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph’s College (13-12, 10-8 GNAC) defeated Suffolk University (7-18, 6-12 GNAC), 80-73, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men’s basketball action at the Harold Alfond Center on Saturday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Saint Joseph’s trailed early but dug out of a 22-16 deficit with an 11-0 run, which was capped with a traditional three-point play by senior John Crawley (Fitchburg, Mass.) and the hosts on top, 27-22, with 4:30 before the break.
The Monks carried a 33-28 cushion into intermission and held a game-high 16-point advantage after senior guard Andrew Ruffen (Salem, N.H.) made a layup with 5:39 remaining. The Rams climbed back into contention by hitting several three-pointers in the closing minutes, but four SJC players combined to make 13 of 14 free throw attempts during the same span to clinch the victory.
Before this game was played it was known that the Monks had clinched the #5 seed in the GNAC Tournament and will be playing at #4 Mount Ida College in a quarterfinal Tuesday at 7:00 PM.
Suffolk is the #7 seed and will travel to #2 Johnson & Wales University, the reigning GNAC Champion, for a 7:30 PM quarterfinal on Tuesday.
Prior to the start of the contest, Saint Joseph’s held a brief ceremony to honor the program’s two seniors: Crawley and Ruffen. The Monks have posted a 52-54 record – including a 40-32 mark in GNAC play – with three GNAC Tournament wins and a conference championship appearance during their time on the court.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH’S:
· Sophomore guard Ian Mileikis (Auburn, Maine) tallied 17 points and eight assists while posting a 6-6 effort from the FT line
· Crawley netted 17 points while going 5-10 from the floor, 2-5 from downtown, and 5-5 from the charity stripe
· Ruffen added 12 points and a pair of rebounds
· Sophomore forward Marc Corey (Londonderry, N.H.) registered 10 points, six caroms, three assists, and three steals
· Junior forward Quinn Richardson-Newton (Saco, Maine) chipped in with nine points, nine boards, two assists, and a pair of steals
LEADERS – SUFFOLK:
· Sophomore guard Michael Hagopian (Watertown, Mass.) led all players with 20 points and added three assists
· Sophomore guard Warfa Abdillahi (Brighton, Mass.) came off the bench to score 16 points with the help of a 4-6 three-point shooting effort
· Sophomore guard Jim Djema (Greenwich, Conn.) added 14 points with nine assists, three rebounds, and a pair of steals