Anna Maria College defeated the No. 19 Albertus Magnus men's basketball team 97-88 to give the Falcons their first Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) loss of the season.
With the win, the AMCats break the Falcons' 35-game regular-season win streak in league play, dating back to the 2010-11 season. The Falcons' 35-game streak was the longest current streak in the nation in Division III men's basketball. Buffalo State University and Becker College hold the all-time Division III men's basketball record at 37-straight regular-season conference wins.
Today's contest saw 13 lead changes, while the score was tied 12 times. The loss moves the Falcons' overall record to 15-2 on the year, while their GNAC mark moves to 10-1.
With less than two minutes to go in regulation the AMCats (9-7, 7-2 GNAC) held a 91-85 lead before the Falcons missed their final four shots from the field as Anna Maria extended its lead to nine points at 97-88. Albertus was held without a field goal in the final 4:49 of the contest.
The Falcons shot 48.3% from the field, while the AMCats shot 46.2% in a high-scoring contest. The Falcons went 26-of-40 from the free-throw line for a 65% showing and were led by four players in double-figures.
Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.) led the way for the Falcons with 29 points and six rebounds, while Arshad Jackson (Hartford, Conn.) added 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor. Jackson, who now has 896 career points, has scored in double figures in five out of the last six contests.
The Falcons shot 51.9% from the floor in the opening half and took their largest lead of the half of eight points with 14:08 on the clock as freshman Marc Wilson knocked in a jumper to give the Falcons a 19-11 advantage.
Anna Maria tied the game at 27 with 7:43 left in the frame before a 10-4 run gave the Falcons a 37-31 lead. Both teams traded baskets in the final three minutes of the half before the Falcons took a 43-42 lead into the break.
The AMCats opened the second half on a 6-2 run to take a three-point lead before play continued to go back-and-forth throughout the rest of the contest.
Today's contest was a rematch of the 2012 GNAC title game when the Falcons won their second GNAC Tournament crown with an 88-54 commanding victory over the AMCats.
Albertus will play at Lasell College on Thursday, Jan. 24 in a 7:30 p.m. match-up.