NEWTON, Mass. (2/20/16) – The Lasell men's basketball team fell to Suffolk 67-66 in its final regular season contest on Saturday afternoon. The Lasers drop to 17-8 overall and 14-4 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, while the Rams improve to 8-17 overall and 6-12 in conference play.
Prior to the game, the Lasers honored its four seniors including Steve Bevilaqua (West Greenwich, R.I.), Richard O'Brien (Manchester, N.H.), Logan Liberty (Duxbury, Vt.), and Pat Marchand (Cranston, R.I.).
Junior guard Armin Omanovic (Wilkesboro, N.C.) led the way for Lasell with a game-high 29 points and eight rebounds, while Marchand posted 12 points and eight rebounds and O'Brien added 11 points in the loss.
Jake Meister paced the visiting Rams with 21 points, Adam Chick added 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Caleb Unni chipped in 11 points.
Suffolk took an early lead in the opening half, breaking a 6-6 deadlock with a 15-4 run featuring nine points by Meister to open up a 21-10 edge with just under 11 minutes to play in the half. Lasell got as close as six twice in the remainder of the first stanza, once on a triple by O'Brien and again on an Omanovich jumper, but Suffolk used a driving layup at the end of the first half to take a 37-28 lead into the half.
The Rams pushed their lead as high as 16, taking a 61-45 on a Meister free throw with 9:14 to play in the game before the Lasers began chipping away. Lasell clamped down defensively and following a layup by Steve Bevilaqua and a pair of free throws by O'Brien, Omanovich scored eight straight for Lasell to cut the Suffolk lead to 66-61 with just under two minutes to play.
Following a Suffolk turnover, Omanovich found Scott Arsenault on the right wing for a three pointer, trimming the deficit to 66-64 with 1:20 to play. The Lasers forced another turnover by the visitors and Omanovich found Marchand for the game-tying layup with a minute left. Suffolk failed to score, and Lasell had possessions with 40 seconds remaining and a chance to go in front. A turnover by the Lasers gave the ball back to Suffolk, and Adam Chick was fouled with .5 of a second remaining. Chick knocked down one of two to give Suffolk a 67-66 lead and a Lasell last second play resulted in a deflection and the final margin.
The Lasers clinched the #2 seed in the GNAC tournament, and will host Suffolk in a rematch of today's contest on Tuesday February 23rd at 7:00 p.m.