Providence, R.I. – The Johnson & Wales University men’s basketball team dropped a hard fought 97-91 double overtime decision against Suffolk in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest at the Harborside Recreation Center on Wednesday evening.

The Wildcats had four players in the game in double figures, including junior Tirone McCray (Brockton, Mass.) who tallied a season high 31 points and added five boards while senior Japhet Kerr (Mt. Kisco, N.Y.) added 23 points, three boards and three steals for the Wildcats. Freshman Mercury Fiske (Woonsocket, R.I.) and senior Greg Samuels (Philadelphia, Pa.) rounded out the double figures, each scoring 11 points in the setback.

Leading the way for Suffolk in the victory was senior John Murphy (North Reading, Mass.) with a game-high 37 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Chris MacDonald (Brewster, Mass.) added 17 points and eight boards for the Rams in the victory.

Suffolk took an early lead and went ahead 20-8 on a jumper by MacDonald just five minutes into the game. Johnson & Wales responded, however and closed out the half on a 27-13 run to take the 35-35 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The two teams traded leads throughout the second half with the game tied 64-64 after a jumper by McCray with 2:17 left in the contest. Suffolk then went on a 7-2 run and lead 71-66 after a pair of free throws by freshman Alan Jazuri (Norwich, Conn.) with just :17 left on the clock. A three pointer by JWU’s Darren Faust (Queens, N.Y.) cut the lead to 71-69 and after a free throw by Murphy made the score 72-72 with :06 remaining, Kerr’s three-pointer with just :03 on the clock tied the contest at 72-72.

In the first overtime, neither team held more than a two point advantage and after five minutes the score was knotted 80-80. Suffolk opened second overtime period with a 10-4 run, capped by a three pointer by Murphy. The visiting Rams would then take the 97-91 victory.

Johnson & Wales is now 3-11 overall and 2-4 in the GNAC while Suffolk improves to 5-9 on the season and 4-2 in league play.

Story courtesy of Johnson & Wales Sports Information.