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No. 16 Falcons Fall to No. 4 Middlebury 89-73

Eric Brushett Photography

Despite a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds from senior Ray Askew (Hamden, Conn.), the No. 16 Albertus Magnus men's basketball team fell to No. 4 Middlebury 89-73 in front of a sell-out crowd of 1,200 in NCAA Tournament Second Round action. The Falcons finished the year with an impressive 28-2 overall record after their best season in program history.

Middlebury (26-3) advances to the NCAA Sectionals with the win as they will take on Scranton next weekend.

Tonight's loss for the Falcons is just their second of the year as it snapped their 23-game winning streak.

Askew's 26-point effort marked his 21st game of the season with 20 or more points, while his double-double was his 14th this season and third in the last four contests.  Askew finishes his career with a program-best 2,316 points and 1,192 rebounds as he received a standing ovation from the sell-out crowd on Saturday night when he departed from the contest.

Albertus came out of the gate in control as the Falcons took an early 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the contest but Middlebury answered with an 11-0 run to take an 11-7 advantage.

Sophomore Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.), who finished the night with 11 points, played just 27 minutes due to foul trouble.

The Panthers led 21-20 before they went on a 13-2 run to put them ahead by 12 with less than three minutes remaining in the frame. Albertus went into the locker room at the break down 38-26. In the opening frame, Albertus shot just 26.7-percent, while hitting just two of its eight attempts from behind the arc.

Middlebury extended its lead to as much as 22 with 10:21 left in the contest.

Albertus shot 37.3-percent from the floor but finished the night 46.7-percent from three-point range and over 80-percent from the charity stripe.

Jefferson Lora (Bronx, N.Y.) added 11 points for his 11th game of the season with double-digit points, while Julian Sanders chipped in with 10.

Middlebury shot 54.2-percent from the field, led by 21 points and 15 rebounds from Ryan Sharry.

The Falcons' 28 wins in 2011-12 mark both a program and conference record, while the Falcons won their second Great Northeast Athletic Conference title in the last three years to earn the automatic NCAA Tournament bid.