Senior Victor Ljuljdjuraj (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) scored his 1,000th career point as the #7 Albertus Magnus men's basketball team defeated Saint Joseph's College of Maine 81-51 on Thursday night in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Semifinal round.
With 2:32 left in tonight's contest, Ljuljdjuarj hit a free throw to register his 17th point of the contest and the 1,000th of his career. He is now the 14th all-time Falcon to reach that coveted milestone.
With the win, the top-seeded Falcons improve to 26-1 on the year and will host second-seeded Johnson & Wales (R.I.) University on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in the tournament championship contest.
The Falcons' win also extends its impressive home court winning streak to 56 games as it is the longest active home court winning streak in NCAA men's basketball (all levels).
The Wildcats used a 77-43 victory over sixth-seeded Emmanuel to advance into the final game.
The Falcons are now 11-8 all-time against the Monks and are 2-1 when playing Saint Joseph's in GNAC Tournament play.
Albertus jumped out to an early 17-5 lead in tonight's contest but the Monks battled back to make the score 17-10. Later in the half, the Falcons led 29-23 as the Monks cut the Albertus lead to six.
The Falcons shot 48.4% (15-of-31) in the first half to go into the break with a 46-34 lead. Tavon Sledge (Spring Valley, N.Y.) tallied 14 first-half points, while both Jaqhawn Walters (Hartford, Conn.) and Eian Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.) tallied 11 first-frame points, respectively.
Saint Joseph's hit five triples in the opening half to cut into the Falcons' lead but Albertus made 15 of their 18 attempts from the free-throw line in the frame to hold onto their advantage.
Out of the halftime break, the Falcons put together a 7-0 run to extend their advantage. Despite only shooting 39.3% in the half, the Falcons held the Monks to just 18.8% (6-of-32) from the floor in the second half of play. Albertus out-scored the Monks 35-17 in the frame.
The Falcons' largest lead of the contest came with 5:51 to go as they took a 33-point lead. Albertus registered 22 points off of 23 Saint Joseph's turnovers, while the Falcons held a 40-18 comparison in points in the paint.
Ljuljdjuraj finished the contest with 17 points and 12 rebounds for his 18th double-double of the season. The senior also registered six blocked shots. Sledge finished the contest with a team-high 21 points, while Davis added 14.
Steve Simonds finished the contest with a game-high 25 points to go along with eight rebounds. The Monks edged the Falcons 39-38 in rebounds.
The Falcons, who are making their 15th appearance in the GNAC Tournament this season, are now 22-9 all-time in GNAC Tournament games.