In its 2013-14 season opener, the Albertus Magnus men's basketball team defeated Lehman College 86-73 on Friday night in New London, Conn. at the Mitchell College Tip-Off Tournament. Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.) led all players with 31 points on the night as 18 of those points came in the opening frame.
Albertus, now 1-0, will face the winner of tonight's Mitchell College/Albany Pharmacy match-up tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in the Championship game of the Tip-Off Tournament.
The Falcons led at the break by 10 at 48-38 thanks to Watson's 18 points as he shot 6-of-10 from the floor, including a 4-of-7 clip from behind the arc. Eian Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.) dished out five assists in the first half to go along with seven points. In his Albertus debut, Davis registered nine assists, four steals and 10 points in 38 minutes of work.
The Falcons shot an impressive 56% from the floor in the first half but were outrebounded by the Lightning 19-16.
The Falcons held a strong lead into the midway point of the second half before Lehman battled back to get to within three at 60-57 on a Brandon Stolz layup. Senior Julian Sanders (Trumbull, Conn.), who led the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) last season in three-point field-goal percentage, answered with a three-pointer to extend the Falcons' lead back to six.
Lehman shot well from the field in the second half to stay in the game with the Falcons. Jerrome Jones, who scored 24 points on the night, shot 6-of-6 to open the second frame. On the other end of the court, the Falcons struggled in the early minutes of the half, making just seven of their first 25 attempts in the second frame.
With 9:13 left in the contest, Olusegun Williams hit a layup to cut the Falcons' lead to three once again. The Falcons then went on an 11-4 run in a span of 3:03 to extend their lead to 10 at 78-68. Albertus continued to add to its lead and extended out to its largest lead of the night at 15 with 2:01 to go.
The Falcons scored 24 points on the night off of 20 Lehman miscues and went on to outrebound the Lightning 41-38.
Watson added seven rebounds to his tally on the night as he shot 9-of-18 from the floor and 5-of-10 from three-point land. He added a perfect 8-of-8 showing from the free-throw line.
Victor Ljuljdjuraj (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) also made his Albertus debut tonight as he shot 6-of-9 from the field for 13 points, while he added 11 rebounds and three blocked shots in 25 minutes. Lemar Larsen (Waterbury, Conn.) added 11 points and nine boards for the Falcons, including seven on the offensive end.
Albertus finished the night shooting 43.3% from the floor and 71.1% from the free-throw line.
Tonight's win also marked the third-straight year that the Falcons opened the season with a victory.