A layup by Suffolk's Matt Pepdjonovic with 18 seconds left was the game-winning basket as the Rams went on to defeat the Albertus Magnus men's basketball team 92-91 on Thursday night in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play.
Despite 30 points and seven rebounds from junior Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.), the Falcons picked up their third loss of the season and the second in GNAC action. Albertus is now 18-3 on the year and 13-2 in the league standings. With the win, Suffolk improved to 8-12 overall and 6-7 in the GNAC.
Watson shot 13-of-19 from the field and scored 19 of his 30 points in the second half on 8-of-10 shooting. With 1:04 on the clock, Watson put the Falcons on his back and hit a jumper in the paint to give the Falcons an 89-88 lead but Pepdjonovic snuck by defenders and connected on a layup with 18 seconds left to put the Rams up for good. The Falcons had one more shot at taking the lead but Watson turned the ball over with five seconds left in regulation.
After the Falcons went into the halftime break with a 43-40 lead, the teams came out of the locker room and continued to trade baskets. The Rams picked up some momentum early in the frame as Colin Halpin registered a four-point play after getting fouled behind the arc to give the Rams' an 87-83 advantage less than five minutes into the frame.
Despite being outscored 52-48 in the second half, the Falcons out-rebounded the Rams by a dominating 52-31 margin throughout the entire contest.
Watson led all scorers with his 30 points, while Jefferson Lora (Bronx, N.Y.) recorded 11 points and 17 rebounds. Senior Arshad Jackson (Hartford, Conn.) added 16 points and seven rebounds, while freshman James Jennings (Stratford, Conn.) contributed with 15 points.
Tonight's game marked the fifth of the year that Watson has registered 30 or more points.
The Falcons shot 45.8% from the field but struggled from behind the arc, hitting just 2-of-11. The Falcons also committed 21 turnovers, the most for Albertus in a single game all season.
Suffolk stayed in the contest and eventually won the game thanks to stellar distance shooting as the Rams hit 12-of-26 from behind the arc for 46.2%. The Rams were led by Halpin with 26 points, while Caleb Unni tallied 20.
Albertus will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 2 as the Falcons will head to Nashua, N.H. to take on the 10-10 Rivier University Raiders. Game time is scheduled for noon.