The Suffolk University Men's Basketball team played yet another close game at home, overcoming a 20-point second half deficit to win 99-94 in overtime over visiting Johnson and Wales Tuesday night at Regan Gymnasium. Senior leader John Murphy (North Reading, MA) led the Rams with 31 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. He was 7-16 from the field and 15-16 from the free-throw line. Murphy needs just 2 more points to reach the 1,000 point mark in GNAC play.
JWU received an impressive 39 points and 10 rebounds from Japhet Kerr. Kerr was 13-34 from the field and 9-10 from the line. Tirone McRay also added 31 points and seven rebounds for JWU on 12-20 shooting and 7-7 shooting from the line.
The two teams headed into overtime tied at 81-81 after a three-point buzzer-beater from Suffolk's Brian Small (Stoughton, MA) was waved off. Small still finished with 19 points on 7-16 shooting.
JWU's Brock Champine scored two of his four overtime points to give his team an 83-81 lead just 10 seconds into overtime. JWU never led for the remainder of overtime as freshman guard Alan Jaziri (Norwich, CT) and Brad Schoonmaker (Southington, CT) each hit three-pointers to give Suffolk an 87-85 lead with 3:36 left. Jaziri finished with 22 points before fouling out. Schoonmaker scored 10 points.
Suffolk kept up the solid play in the overtime period, taking a 92-87 lead with 2:12 remaining on a jumper from Small.
A McRay bucket cut the Suffolk lead to 92-89 with 46 seconds left on the clock. However, Suffolk hit seven of eight free-throws down the stretch to pull out the win.
Suffolk trailed 81-79 after two free-throws from Kerr with 1:17 remaining in the second half. Jaziri later tied the game with 58 seconds left on two of his eight free-throws in the game to force overtime.
The Rams had trailed 79-76 after another Kerr jumper. However, Schoonmaker nailed one of his two three-pointers in the game to tie it at 79-79 with 1:35 remaining. Suffolk trailed 67-56 with 8 minutes to go, but responded, cutting the lead to 73-69 with 4:54 remaining.
JWU held a 59-39 lead with 14:46 left in the game. JWU began the second half on a 19-5 run after leading 40-34 at the break.
Suffolk improved to 6-7 in the GNAC and 7-15 overall. JWU fell to 5-7 in the GNAC and 7-14 overall.
By Philip Camara
Suffolk Sports Information Intern