Seventh seeded Suffolk University recovered from a 23 point first half deficit and rallied to defeat second seeded Emerson College (16-9) 80-75 in the first round of the 2007 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament. With the victory, the Rams move on to a semi-final game at third seeded Rivier College Thursday evening at 7:00pm.
Suffolk scored off the opening tip to take a 2-0 lead. Emerson then countered with a 19-0 run over the next 4:47. The lead stretched to 36-13 with 6:22 remaining in the half. Suffolk chipped away throughout the remainder of the first half until John Murphy (Sr., North Reading, Mass.) nailed a three-point buzzer beater to bring the Rams to within 46-33 at the half.
Emerson ran the lead back to 17 three times in the second half and led by 11 with 9:44 to play. Suffolk then went on a 10-1 run to cut the lead to 2 points. Jeremy Shannon (Fr., Lowell, Mass.) hit a layup to put the Lions up by four, but Alan Jaziri (Fr., Norwich, Conn.) countered with a layup, and Patrick Taylor ( Sr., Wilmington, Mass.) tied the score at 66 with a layup of his own.
Layups by Alfredo Tovar (Sr., Los Angeles, Cal.) and Will Dawkins (Jr., Springfield, Mass.) gave the Lions a four point lead, but Jaziri nailed a three-ball and Brad Schoonmaker (Sr., Southington, Conn.) dropped in a layup to give the Rams their first lead since six seconds into the game.
Suffolk stretched the lead to 78-72 with 29 seconds remaining, but Tovar answered with a three to pull Emerson back into a one possession game. A Suffolk turnover resulted in a Dawkins three-point attempt that fell off the rim and Tovar fouled Schoonmaker on the rebound. Schoonmaker hit both free throws for the final 80-75 margin.
Dawkins led all scorers in the game with 21 points. Tovar added 12 and Shannon and Max Silver (Fr., Westport, Maine) each had 11.
Murphy led Suffolk with 20 points, Schoonmaker had 19 and Jaziri hit for 17.
Story courtesy of Emerson Sports Information