The Albertus Magnus men's basketball team defeated Saint Joseph's College of Maine 84-49 on Saturday afternoon in the 2014 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Championship in New Haven, Conn. The 2014 title marks the program's third-straight and its fourth in the last five years.
The 26-2 overall Falcons will now await their seeding in the NCAA Tournament which is set to tip-off next weekend. The announcement will be made on Monday afternoon on NCAA.com for the 62-team tournament.
Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.) scored 21 points on the afternoon to lead Albertus as he was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. He was joined on the All-Tournament Team by teammates Victor Ljuljdjuraj (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) and Eian Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.). The Monks were represented on the All-Tournament team by Matt Medeiros and Nicholas Jobin, while Lasell's Clyde Niba and Johnson & Wales (R.I.)'s Curtis Lucas also earned All-Tournament Team honors.
With their 26th victory of the season, the Falcons picked up their 41st-straight home victory, the longest current home winning streak in NCAA men's basketball.
Davis finished with a career-high 15 assists, while he added six rebounds and nine points. Ljuljdjuraj shot 5-of-8 from the floor for 11 points as he added two blocked shots and five rebounds. Lemar Larsen (Waterbury, Conn.) also registered double figures with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor. He also grabbed seven boards in the contest. James Jennings (Bridgeport, Conn.) tallied 16 points for the Falcons as well, while Kyle Wiggins (Milford, Conn.) came off the bench to score nine on 3-of-3 shooting from behind the arc.
Medeiros led all scorers with 23 points on 50% shooting from the floor, while Jobin tallied a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes of work.
The contest started off strong as the score was tied five times in the opening 10 minutes of play. After a fast-break pull up by Medeiros cut the Falcons' lead to 19-17 with 9:32 on the clock, the Falcons put together a 13-2 run to take a 32-19 lead. Later in the frame, the Falcons went on a 10-0 run to extend their lead to 23 at 47-24, which stood to be the halftime score.
At the break, Watson had 15 points, while Medeiros led the Monks with 10.
The Falcons controlled tempo throughout the second half and extended their lead to as many as 36 points with 7:31 left on the clock.
Albertus finished the contest with 15 points off of 15 Monk turnovers and tallied 21 second-chance points as the Falcons out-rebounded Saint Joseph's 36-23.
Both teams shot over 40% from the field in the contest, while hitting over 50% of their shots in the second half. Albertus was led by a 7-of-12 showing from behind the arc, while free-throw shooting was limited on the day to just 26 total combined attempts.
The Falcons move to 8-8 all-time against the Monks with a 5-3 all-time record at home after today's win. The Falcons have won six of the last seven meetings between the two programs.
Watson now has 2,101 career points and is 133 points away from Tim Russell (2001-05)'s career tally of 2,234 and 215 away from Ray Askew's career total of 2,316. Watson's MVP honor is the second-straight of his career as well.