Four-straight made free throws and a fast break layup in the final minute of tonight's contest secured a 78-74 victory for the No. 16 Albertus Magnus men's basketball team over Johnson & Wales (R.I.) in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats took a 74-72 lead with a made free throw with less than a minute to go before two Victor Ljuljdjuraj (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) tied the contest at 74 with 41 seconds left on the clock. Junior Eian Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.) sprinted down the court after a missed JWU jump shot and connected on a fast-break layup to give the Falcons a 76-74 lead with 20 seconds left in regulation.
After another missed JWU shot, Albertus gained possession with nine seconds left before James Jennings (Bridgeport, Conn.) was fouled and sent to the line. Jennings, who finished the game 5-of-8 from the free-throw line made both attempts to secure the four-point victory.
With their 10th-straight victory, the Falcons improve to 16-1 on the year and an unblemished 11-0 in league play. For JWU, it was their first loss since Dec. 3, 2013 after winning 12-straight contests dating back to that date.
Albertus finished 42.2% from the field, hitting just 4 three-pointers on the night. The Falcons made 26 of their 33 attempts from the charity stripe as well, including 19-of-23 in the second half. The Wildcats, who outrebounded the Falcons 46-41 on the night, shot 36% from the field.
Davis led all scorers with 22 points as he added six rebounds. After pulling down 18 rebounds on Monday in the Falcons' victory over 13th-ranked Purchase, Ljuljdjuraj registered 11 rebounds in tonight's contest to go along with 15 points and six blocks.
Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.) added 17 points, while Jennings tallied 15.
To open the game, the Falcons jumped out to a 7-2 lead before JWU battled back to cut the lead to 7-5. All five starters contributed to the first 12 points scored by Albertus. The Falcons pushed out to a 10-point lead with 14:28 left in the half when Jennings hit a jump shot.
The Wildcats stayed in the game and used a late surge in the half to tie the game at 33 with 6:21 left in the first half. After back-and-forth play, the Falcons went into the break with a 43-40 lead.
Late in the second half, the Wildcats tied the score at 70 before taking a 73-71 lead with 1:29 to go. That lead marked their first of the contest since opening the game with a 2-0 advantage.
Robert Lewis finished with 18 points for JWU, while Esaie Touze came off the bench to record 17 points and 14 rebounds. Tom Garrick added 10 points in the loss.
The Falcons are 17-24 all-time against JWU dating back to the 1995-96 season. The Falcons are now 12-9 against the Wildcats when playing on Albertus' home court. Albertus has also won five of the last six meetings.
Albertus will head back on the road for a league contest on Saturday when the Falcons travel to Standish, Maine to take on the Saint Joseph's College Monks at 2:30 p.m.