Head coach Mitch Oliver earned his 70th career victory to become the all-time winningest coach in Albertus Magnus men's basketball history as the Falcons downed Emerson 77-55 on Thursday night in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action.
With the victory, the Falcons improve to 11-1 on the year, while Oliver's record at the helm of the Albertus men's basketball program improves to 70-53 as he is in his fifth season. Oliver tied the previous record of 69 on Tuesday night with a win at Rivier. Bob McMahon held that 69-win tally during his 10-year tenure (1997-2007).
In the tonight's GNAC conference, Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.) led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor. He was 4-of-8 from behind the arc and was 4-of-7 from the free-throw line.
The Falcons opened the contest with an 11-4 run in the first five minutes of play but Emerson cut the lead to one at 13-12 less than two minutes later. The Lions battled back to take their first lead of the contest at the 7:13 mark, when they led by three after a jumper by Nathan Firn.
Albertus took back the lead as senior Matt Maya (Bridgeport, Conn.) hit his first of two 3-pointers in the frame with six minutes to go to give Albertus a 25-23 advantage.
The Falcons shot 54.2-percent in the first half, led by 11 points from senior Ray Askew (Hamden, Conn.) and 10 points from Watson. Both Falcons, along with six points from Maya, gave Albertus the one-point edge going into the break.
The Falcons took that one-point lead at intermission and extended it to 14 points 7:30 into the second frame with help from a 22-8 run.
Albertus took its largest lead of the night with 1:25 left in regulation as the Falcons led by 23.
In the second half of play, Albertus shot 46.9-percent to finish the game with a 50-percent clip on 28-of-56 shooting. Emerson shot 40.4-percent on the night, led by Firn and Eli Kell-Abrams who scored 16 and 17 points, respectively.
Junior Mike Sweeney (Milford, Conn.) had a career-high night with 11 points and six rebounds as he shot 4-of-4 from the field, scoring all of his 11 points in the second half of play.
Askew, who became the GNAC's all-time leader in rebounds on Tuesday night, finished tonight's contest with eight boards along with 17 points in 31 minutes of work. Despite just two points from both Arshad Jackson (Hartford, Conn.) and Zach Dugas (Monroe, Conn.), the two Falcons contributed with seven and six assists, respectively.
Albertus will head to Boston, Mass. on Saturday, Jan. 14 to take on Emerson College for the second time in three days. That contest is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m.