The Suffolk University Men's Basketball team (0-3 GNAC, 1-9 overall) could not survive a late defensive surge by the Emerson Lions (3-0 GNAC, 6-3 overall) in an 88-81 loss to their cross town rival Saturday afternoon at Regan Gymnasium.
Mario Massimino (East Haven, CT) led the Rams with 21 points on 10-17 shooting. It was Massimino's second consecutive 20-point performance. Sophomore guard Allan Ray (Lynn, MA) dropped in 15, including 3-6 shooting from three. Mike Fleming (Exeter, NH) netted 14. Senior leader Brian Small (Stoughton, MA) finished with 12 points and six rebounds.
Lions junior center Bryan Rouse reached the 1,000 point plateau in the conference victory with 21 points. He is the 11th player in Emerson's history to achieve that feat. Rouse shot 9-15 and added seven rebounds. Rouse was honored at half-court for his achievement after his bucket 3:35 into the game. Junior point guard Jeremy Shannon was one assist shy of a triple-double in the contest as he finished with a game-high 23 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists.
Suffolk took a 39-34 lead into the break, but a 15-point turnaround and a Rouse jumper gave the Lions a 69-59 lead with 7:12 remaining. The Rams battled back, using back-to-back shots from Joe Ransom (Sheffield, UK) and Massimino to cut the deficit to 74-71 with 3:11 on the clock. Ransom finished his afternoon with four points and six rebounds.
After a Tom Messinger three-pointer from the corner put the Lions up 77-71, field goals from Small and Massimino made it a 78-76 game with just 1:52 remaining.
Emerson's defense held Suffolk to 0-3 shooting and forced a turnover in the Rams' next four possessions to wrap up the win. The Lions shot 6-7 from the free-throw line down the stretch.
The Rams head to New Hampshire Tuesday night when they take on Rivier at 7:30 p.m.