Led by 22 points from Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.), the top-seeded Albertus Magnus men's basketball team won its 20th-straight game as the Falcons defeated Emerson 82-58 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament action.
Tonight's quarterfinal win improves the Falcons record to 25-1 on the year as Watson shot 9-of-14 from the field, including a 4-of-8 clip from behind the arc. Albertus will now host Lasell on Thursday night in a 7:00 p.m. semifinal match-up. Lasell defeated Emmanuel 80-73 on Tuesday to advance to the semifinals.
The Falcons, who finished 18-0 in GNAC play, became the first-ever GNAC men's basketball program to go undefeated in conference play during the regular season. The Falcons' 20th-straight victory and their 25th overall marked the 11th time this season that they have defeated their opponent by 20 points or more.
Four Falcons registered double figures in tonight's contest as Jefferson Lora (Bronx, N.Y.) contributed with 17 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Ray Askew (Hamden, Conn.) tallied 13 points, four assists and eight rebounds, while Arshad Jackson (Hartford, Conn.) added 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
Emerson was led in tonight's contest by Nathan Firn as he scored 16 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the floor. The Lions' overall record falls to 7-19 with the loss.
After taking a 17-14 lead with 10:53 left in the first half, the Falcons held Emerson without a field goal for over five minutes during a 13-4 run as the Falcons extended their lead to 30-18. The Lions were able to cut the lead to seven at the half led by 11 first-half points from Patrick Lowndes.
In the first frame, the Falcons were led by Jackson and Lora as they both tallied 11 first-half points. During the Falcons' 13-8 opening run in the first six minutes, Lora registered eight of Albertus' 13 points.
Albertus opened the second half with an 11-4 run capped by a three-point field goal by Watson. The Falcons were able to extend their lead to 51-42 before coming out of an Emerson timeout with a 9-0 run to pull ahead by 18 with 11:13 left on the clock.
Their largest lead of the contest came in the second half with 4:39 to go as the Falcons took a commanding 26-point advantage. The Falcons shot 58.3-percent in the second frame and finished the night with a 49.1-percent showing. Albertus also shot 24-of-32 from the charity stripe, while the Falcons out-rebounded Emerson 37-24 on the night.
Watson's 22-point effort marked the sophomore's 14th game this season with 20 or more points. With 2,223 career points, Askew is now just 11 shy of the Albertus Magnus men's basketball record of 2,234 held by Tim Russell '05.