Men's Basketball

2017-18 RECORD: 21-6; GNAC: 15-1 / NCAA Tournament: 6 appearances / GNAC Titles: 7 (1999, 2010,'12, '13, '14, '15, '17)

No. 19 Albertus Edges Anna Maria 109-104

Photo by Ron Waite
Photo by Ron Waite

Three players with 20 or more points led the No. 19 Albertus Magnus men's basketball team to a 109-104 victory over Anna Maria College on Thursday night in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play. Both teams shot well from the floor as they finished over 50%. James Jennings (Bridgeport, Conn.) led all Falcons with a career-high 26 points.

With the win, the Falcons are now 18-2 on the year and 12-1 in the GNAC standings, while the AMCats are 8-12 overall and 6-7 in league play after the loss.

Albertus shot 53.9% from the floor, including a 46.2% showing from behind the arc. Albertus shot 75% in the first half, hitting 21 of their 28 shot attempts to go into the halftime break with a 39-29 lead.  Anna Maria shot 54.3% in the opening frame and then jumped out in the second half hitting seven of the AMCats 10 three-point attempts to outscore the Falcons 56-51 in the second set of 20.

The Falcons had six players score in double figures, led by Jennings' 26 points. He shot 7-of-9 from the floor and was 4-of-4 from three-point land.  Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.) added 21 points as he is now 59 points away from scoring his 2,000th career point while at Albertus Magnus.

Eian Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added 21 points on 5-of-10 shooting to go along with five rebounds, while Victor Ljuljdjuraj (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) pulled down 10 rebounds to go along with five blocked shots and 13 points.

Marcus Walker (Newark, N.J.) added 11 points off the bench for the Falcons, while Lemar Larsen (Waterbury, Conn.) added 14 points and six rebounds. Walker also pulled down eight boards.

The Falcons took their largest lead of the contest with 11:23 to go in the first half when Walker finished on a layup to put the Falcons' up 26-12.  After going into the break with a 10-point lead, Anna Maria came out firing in the second half.

With 12:17 left in the game, the AMCats cut the Albertus lead back to one point to remain close but never took over the lead.  A quick 11-2 run in a span of just over two minutes pushed the Falcons' lead back up to 10. With a three-pointer with 1:32 left on the clock, Anna Maria cut the Albertus lead to three. Play went back and forth for the remainder of the contest as Albertus hit 6-of-8 final attempts from the free-throw line in the last 19 seconds of the game.

Anna Maria was led by Joseph Barillo with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor.

Albertus out-rebounded the AMCats 39-29 on the night and scored 22 second-chance points.

Albertus is now 7-3 all-time against Anna Maria dating back to the 1992-93 season.  Since Anna Maria joined the GNAC for the 2011-12 season, the Falcons are 6-1 against the AMCats with two of those wins coming in the GNAC Tournament Championship game the past two years. Earlier this season, the Falcons handed the AMCats a 100-66 loss in New Haven.

Albertus will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 8 when the Falcons host Mount Ida College in a 3:00 p.m. GNAC match-up.