John Murphy (North Reading, MA) hit a game-winning finger roll with three seconds left and the Suffolk University Men's Basketball team overcame a 17-point second-half deficit en route to a 92-90 victory over Rivier College Thursday night at Suffolk's Regan Gymnasium. Murphy led all scorers in the game with 36 points on 14-26 shooting (6-12 3pt. FG). He currently ranks 11th in the NCAA Division III in scoring with 22.8 points per game.
Rivier took a final shot for the win, however, Chris Giordano's (11 points) three-point attempt did not fall as time expired.
The Murphy game winner came as part of a 9-0 Suffolk run to end the game andalso came over a minute after two Alan Jaziri (Norwich, CT) free-throws tied the game at 90-90 for Suffolk. Jaziri finished with 19 points on 6-11 shooting (3-6 3pt. FG).
Jaziri started the Suffolk run with a two cutting the Rivier lead to 90-85 with 2:35 remaining. Tim Meho (Burlington, MA) added a free-throw to make it a 90-86 game with 2:21 left. Meho finished with three points. A Murphy jumper made it a 90-88 game with 1:46 remaining, setting up Jaziri's game-tying free-throws.
With Rivier clinging to a 90-88 lead, John McMahon (26 points) had four opportunities to increase his team's lead, but failed, going 0-4 from the free-throw line in a 22 second span.
Rivier dominated the game early in the second half increasing their 46-42 halftime lead to a 69-52 lead with 14:31 left in the game. McMahon exploded over the 5:29 span scoring 13 points.
Rivier ended the first half on a 14-2 run after trailing 40-32 with 4:17 remaining.
Outside of Murphy and Jaziri, Suffolk's Brad Schoonmaker was another Suffolk player to reach double figures as he contributed with 11 points.
Rivier received a solid effort from Jeff Carpenter with 19 points on 7-11 shooting. Lance Bisson added 14 points for Rivier before fouling out. Felipe Lima added 11 points in the conference loss.
Suffolk and Rivier are now tied in the GNAC standings with 5-4 records. Suffolk improved to 6-11 overall, while Rivier fell to 11-6 overall.
By Philip Camara
Suffolk Sports Information Intern