Tyler Kelley's 26 points led the St. Joseph's (ME) Men's basketball team (3-1 GNAC, 9-2 overall) in an 88-76 victory Wednesday night over Suffolk University (0-2 GNAC, 1-8 overall) at Regan Gymnasium in Boston, MA. Kelley shot 10-14 in the contest, including 5-6 from three-point land.
The Rams' Mario Massimino (East Haven, CT) led Suffolk with an impressive 20 points on 9-12 shooting from the field. Senior forward Brian Small (Stoughton, MA) added 19 points and eight rebounds in the losing effort. Small was 6-7 from the field. Alberto Rue, Chris Petzy and Zach O'Brien each added 11 for the Monks.
Suffolk shot 52 percent from the field in the first half, en route to a 42-40 lead at the break, despite five three-pointers from Kelley. Luke Barrett (Cincinnati, OH) and Small each had 12 in the half. Barrett finished his night with a season-high 19 points going 5 for 8 from behind the arc.
The Rams continued their sharp play late in the second half, trailing just 66-65 with under seven minutes remaining after a Massimino bucket. The Monks quickly responded with a game-breaking 10-0 run in three minutes to take a commanding 76-65 lead. The Monks who entered the game with the GNAC's best scoring defense were able to pressure the Rams and take control of the game in the closing minutes.
Suffolk battled back after Joe Ransom's (Sheffield, UK) only field goal of the game and one of Massimino's two threes on the night made it a 76-70 deficit with just 2:17 remaining, but the Monks exploded for an 8-0 run to go ahead 84-70 with 1:05 left on the clock.
Each team heads into GNAC competition this week as St. Joseph's College will host Rivier on Saturday. Suffolk will look for its first conference win and home win of the season when rival Emerson College comes to Regan Gymnasium Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.