BOSTON, Mass. - With four different players finishing in double-figures including a game-high 17 points from junior Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.) men's basketball earned their second straight victory as they defeated crosstown rival Suffolk University 79-68 Tuesday evening at Regan Gymnasium.
Tuesday's win improved the Beacons overall record to 2-1 and moved head coach Charlie Titus to within one victory of reaching his 300th career win as head coach of the Beacons. The loss dropped the Rams overall record to 1-4.
Joseph was once again the driving force behind the Beacons victory. The Brockton native was 4-for-9 from the field and was nearly perfect at the line as he went 9-for-10. On the glass he collected five rebounds and rejected three Suffolk shots as well. Of his 17 points, 14 came in the second half as he led the Beacons to a late comeback.
Also playing a huge part in the win was Jerard Mayes (Boston, Mass.) and Gregory Young (Boston, Mass.) as the two starters each finished with 14 points. Off the bench, newcomer Omar Benabicha (Saugus, Mass.) also dropped in 14 points on his best night to date with the Beacons. From the floor he was 3-for-7 including one 3-pointer, while at the line he was 7-for-8.
On top of Mayes' 14 points, he also led the team in rebounds with six and matched Joseph with three blocked shots in 26 minutes of action. From the floor Mayes was 5-for-7 and at the line he was 4-for-5. Young closed out his night 5-for-10 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 at the charity strip.
As a team the Beacons continued to put-up impressive numbers as they shot 44.8% (26-58) on the night and 83.9% (26-31) at the line. Suffolk held a slim advantage in rebounds (41-39), but it was the Beacons defense in the end that proved to be a huge part in the win as they managed nine steals, four blocked shots, and forced a total of 15 Suffolk turnovers.
The first half started off as a close affair between the longtime rivals. However all that changed at the midway point when the Beacons offense kicked things into high gear going on a 18-5 run over the span of three minutes to take a 30-16 lead. Suffolk did manage a small run of their own to cut the deficit to four right before halftime (33-29).
After the break, things got really interesting as the Rams came out firing to take their first real lead of the night less than five minutes in. The Beacons would try to keep things close, but with Suffolk starting to pull away they knew they needed to do something fast.
Trailing by 10 with 10 minutes left to play UMass clawed their way back and erased the double-figure lead over a four minute window. With a Mayes and-1 the Beacons and Rams were tied at 58-58 with less than six minutes to play. That quick turnaround would carry the Beacons to the victory as they fired off another big run and eventually pushed their lead to 10 (76-66) with just over a minute left in regulation.
Suffolk would manage just one more basket in the final 60 seconds, while the Beacons secured the victory at the charity strip.
For Suffolk, Sam Nwadike led his team with 16 points, followed by Frantz Pinard who dropped in 14. Matt Duquette totaled a game-high eight boards, while Jake Meister totaled six rebounds off the bench for the Rams.
Men's Basketball returns to action on Friday when they host the College of St. Joseph's (Vt.) at 4 p.m. on day one of the 29th Annual UMass Boston Harbor Invitational. This year's tournament will also feature Emerson College and Wesleyan University (Conn.). The two teams will play at 6 p.m. in the Clark Athletic Center Gym. Saturday's consolation game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start followed by the championship game at 3 p.m.