With a 104-77 win over Johnson & Wales (R.I.) on Thursday night, the Albertus Magnus men's basketball team will advance to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Championship game scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23 at Anna Maria College. The title game will tip off at 2:00 p.m.
With tonight's win, the Falcons improve to 23-4 on the year, while JWU drops to 15-12 overall.
Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.) led all scorers with 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the floor, while Arshad Jackson (Hartford, Conn.) tallied 21 points. James Jennings (Stratford, Conn.) and James Economopoulos (Wallingford, Conn.) both scored 12 points and hit two 3-pointers each to round out the Falcons' scoring in double figures.
The Falcons shot 50.7% on the night from the field, while hitting 18 of its 30 attempts from the floor in the second half for a 60% showing. JWU shot just 36.1% in the opening frame.
Albertus opened the contest with a 7-2 run in a span of 2:20 before the Wildcats battled back to cut the lead to two. The Falcons answered and pushed out to a 22-point lead with less than three minutes to go in the frame, their largest lead of the opening half.
At the break, the Falcons led 52-34 led by 13 points from Watson and 12 points off the bench from Economopoulos who hit three consecutive shots, including two 3-pointers, to lead the Falcons in a 10-0 run.
The Falcons' largest lead of the contest came with 14:51 left in regulation as they took a 28-point advantage. The Falcons out-rebounded the Wildcats 43-32 on the night and registered 50 points in the paint. Each Albertus player who saw time in tonight's contest registered at least two points for the Falcons.
With his 27-point effort, Watson surpassed Pat Good (1991-93) on the Albertus Magnus men's basketball all-time scoring list. Watson now has 1,448 career points and is in fourth place on the all-time list. He is 25 points away from tying Ari Crooks' (1996-2000) career tally of 1,473.
The Falcons advance to the GNAC Tournament Championship game for the third time in the last four years. In the two previous trips to the final game the Falcons were victorious.