BOSTON, Mass. – The Anna Maria College men's basketball team suffered a 78-64 loss to the Rams of Suffolk University on Saturday afternoon inside Regan Gymnasium. The AMCATS drop to 3-16 overall this season and 3-9 in the conference while the Rams improve to 5-14 overall and 4-8 in the GNAC.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Suffolk's Michael Hagopian lead all scorers with 34 points. He had a 12-of-19 showing from the floor, 5-for-7 effort from behind the arc and a 5-for-6 showing on the charity stripe. The sophomore added four rebounds, two blocks and one steal to his impressive day. Thomas Duffy joined Hagopian in double figures with 10, all in the second half. The freshman shot 5-for-7 from the field and 1-for-1 on three's and was one rebound shy of a double-double effort, leading the team on the glass with nine boards. He added two assists and two steals to his effort. George Grillakis chipped in eight points, on a 4-for-7 showing from the field, to go along with four caroms, four handouts and three takeaways. Suffolk put together season-bests connection rates from the floor (54.4) and from three-point range (50.0).
Junior, Liam Pickett (Oxford, Mass.) led the AMCATS with 21 points on the day, just one point shy of his season high 22 points. Freshman Mike Rapoza (Charlton, Mass.) added 16 points and led all rebounders, collecting 18 boards in the loss. Junior, Chris Contento (Marshfield, Mass.) rounded out double digit scoring for the AMCATS with 11 points to go along with four assists. Anna Maria outrebounded the Rams 36-30, thanks in large part to a game-high 18 from Rapoza. Half of the AMCATs points came in the paint (32) with Rapoza accounting for half of those (16).
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk took the lead early and never relinquished it over the entire contest. To open things up, back-to-back treys from Hagopian made it an 11-3 Rams game, before a 6-0 stretch from Suffolk gave the hosts a 10-point lead, 17-7.
Out of its own timeout Anna Maria put in four unanswered points, but Hagopian halted the stretch there with his third triple of the afternoon. Matt McLean got in on the shooting show with a three of his own at the 7:01 minute mark and the score stood, 23-14.
Down the stretch, Hagopian stayed hot with back-to-back buckets to regain a double-digit lead for the Rams, 31-21. On their next possession, the AMCATS shaved the deficit to nine after a Kevin Querusio block fell into the hands of Mike Rapoza, who easily laid it in.
The rebuttal was short-lived with Jim Djema striking from behind the arc leading to a Suffolk timeout with the hosts in front, 34-23. In the final two minutes Anna Maria outscored Suffolk, 5-2, to trim the Rams' advantage to eight, 36-28, at half time.
Djema picked up right where the Rams left off, with a good hoop from three-point range. The AMCATS matched Djema's second three of the day with one from Lima Pickett and put on the full-court pressure to make it a 41-35 contest just two minutes into the second stanza.
Three straight hoops from Thomas Duffy – two baby-jumpers sandwiched around a fast-break lay-up – rebuilt a double-figure deficit for the AMCATS with the Rams ahead by 12, 47-35, at the 15:30 mark. A pair of freebies from Kenneth Graham broke up the consecutive Suffolk scoring, but once again the Rams responded, specifically Duffy, this time from downtown.
Duffy and the Rams cooled off and the AMCATS heated up with a 9-2 spurt to pull within six, 52-46. Jeff Juron took a timeout to talk things over and Hagopian used the break to heat right back up. The sophomore put away his fifth long ball of the day and followed that with a jumper to regain an 11-point advantage. Hagopian's antics sparked a 12-2 run for the Rams that put the AMCATS in a 20-point hole with 6:20 to play.
Anna Maria did not roll over and accept defeat with the visitors scoring seven unanswered points to trim things back to 13 with under four remaining. Hagopian took things into his hands once again, going off for the next three buckets for six points to put the game out of reach for the AMCATS and lead the Rams to the 78-64 victory.
Anna Maria is back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 1st at Lasell for a 7:00 p.m. GNAC battle. Suffolk steps back out on the road on the same day as they travel to Rivier for a 7:00 p.m contest.