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Men’s Basketball Take Down Rival Nassau in LI Showdown

The Sharks followed up with a win against the Borough of Manhattan Community College Panthers
Jay Kass
Suffolk guard Tyiem Joiner goes up to grab the rebound. Joiner provided 9 points off the bench.

Following back-to-back defeats, the Suffolk Sharks men’s basketball team upset their biggest rival, the Nassau Lions, in a thrilling 79-72 victory at home on Thursday. 

The Sharks were led by starting guard Samir Bell, who scored 18 points. Starters Amari Isaacs and Kevin Blanchet chipped in with 15 points each, with guard Rufino Oliva adding in 13 points off of the bench. 

Looking to avenge their loss against the Lions earlier in the season, the game started off poorly for the Sharks, with costly turnovers and sloppy defense giving Nassau the early lead. The Sharks called their first timeout down 7-13, where they regrouped and came out playing with more composure. 

“Our biggest focus was we have to play with the same intensity every game. It hasn’t been [that way], and that’s our issue,” Sharks head coach Victor Correa said. “When we bring our intensity and bring our focus, we can beat anybody in the region.”

The Sharks played catch-up for most of the first half, but after a layup from back up guard Zamir Gilbert to give the Sharks a 31-30 lead, they did not trail the rest of the game. The Sharks pushed their lead to as much as 10 points and Nassau managed to tie the score at 65-65 with 5:06 left in the second half. 

After calling a timeout, the Sharks went on a 14-7 run to finish the game and secure the victory. 

The Sharks continued a season-long trend of exceptional shooting, as they finished the game with a 54.2% field goal percentage and 58.3% from the three-point line. 

Freshman guard Samir Bell shined for the Sharks, shooting an impressive 8-11 from the field and 1-3 from behind the arc. Correa highlighted Bell’s inspired performance postgame, saying, “When [Bell] brings it offensively, he’s one of the best scorers I’ve seen.” 

The game was a display of physicality and tough-play styles that led both teams to falling into serious foul trouble. 

“It’s just the way we play. Nassau is always going to be aggressive, and if we’re going to match that aggressiveness and that intensity there’s going to be some fouls. But that’s okay as long as we don’t back up,” Correa said. 

The Sharks benefited greatly from the physical play, drawing 28 free throws and knocking down 20.

Suffolk also won against the Borough of Manhattan Community College Panthers on Saturday 88-72, improving to 9-11 on the season, including a 6-4 record at home, with only two games remaining. With the playoffs looming, Correa kept a positive yet grounded view on the team’s future after the victory. 

“It’s frustrating. Although we are happy with the win, it can be frustrating from game to game when we don’t know what’s gonna happen. But they’re young, and they’re all freshmen except for two [players], and with freshmen that’s what you get sometimes. They’re still learning.”

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About the Contributors
Sajad Syed
Sajad Syed, Editor-in-Chief
Sajad Syed is a journalism major and the editor-in-chief of the Suffolk student newspaper, the Compass News. An aspiring sports reporter, he will graduate from Suffolk in 2024 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism
Jay Kass
Jay Kass, Multimedia Editor
Jay Kass is the multimedia editor of the Compass News, majoring in journalism. After Suffolk, she wants to go to Stony Brook University to obtain a bachelor's in journalism, or get a cosmetology degree at Navda Tech in the city to learn how to create crazy hair looks. Kass hopes to become a travel journalist to spread awareness of different cultures.

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    zuhair syedFeb 6, 2024 at 1:33 pm

    really good article 10/10