Men's Basketball

2018-19 RECORD: 20-8; GNAC: 9-2 / NCAA Tournament: 7 appearances / GNAC Titles: 8 (1999, 2010,'12, '13, '14, '15, '17, '19)

High-Pressure Defense Key for Men's Basketball in GNAC Win

Photo by: Zaida Velazco
Photo by: Zaida Velazco

New Haven, Conn. – The Albertus Magnus College men's basketball team knocked down a season-high 14 three-pointers and forced 23 turnovers en route to a 105-58 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) victory against Saint Joseph's (Maine) on Saturday afternoon at The Nest inside the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center.

With their fourth straight GNAC victory, the Falcons improve to 13-3 overall and 9-2 in conference play, while the Monks dropped their third in a row to move to 6-13 on the year and 3-9 in league action.

The balanced Falcon attack saw five players score in double figures and seven net at least eight points in the 47-point win. AMC shot better than 55 percent from the field for the third time in GNAC play this season. The 24 forced turnovers also marked a season-high for Albertus Magnus and the hosts turned those Monk miscues into 33 points.

The Falcons never trailed during the opening the stanza, stretching their lead to as many as 23 at the break. Albertus Magnus ended the half with junior transfer Grant Ellis (Newark, N.J.) knocking down three straight three-pointers, the last of which beat the buzzer. Over the first three minutes of play, AMC built an early, 4-0, edge courtesy of layups from senior wing Marc Wilson (Jersey City, N.J.) and freshman point guard Ryan Pittman (Stratford, Conn.).

After the Monks came back to knot the tilt at six, the hosts built a steady edge through the half thanks to pressure defense and sharp-shooting from deep. AMC forced 11 first-half turnovers and held the guests to 34 percent shooting. Both teams were hot from beyond the arc during the opening 20 minutes, as Albertus Magnus knocked down 8-of-22 attempts and Saint Joseph's converted 6-of-13 treys.

In the second half, the hosts shot an impressive 68 percent (22-of-32) from the field to pull away and score their sixth win a row versus the Monks. Five minutes into the frame, the Falcons reeled off a 9-0 run capped by an old-fashioned three-point play from Wilson to stretch their lead to 30 and take the wind out Saint Joseph's sails.

Offensively, Wilson and Ellis paced the Falcon attack with a game-high 20 points apiece. Wilson topped the 20-point plateau for the second game in a row and knocked down 7-of-8 shots in just 17 minutes of action. In his second game with the team, Ellis connected on six shots from beyond the arc and contributed four rebounds. Sophmore forward Erick Langston (Stratford, Conn.) has his strong game of the season, pouring in 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting off the bench. Sophomore forward Jaqhawn Walters and freshman forward Shontaey Lovell (Brooklyn, N.Y.) were the other Falcons in double figures with 10 points apiece. Lovell pulled down nine boards, while Walters added six rebounds, six assists and two steals.

Freshman guard Ben Malloy led the charge for the guests, scoring 17 points thanks to 5-of-9 shooting from three-point range. Freshman guard Ian Mileikis was the other Monk in double figures with 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Mileikis had a solid game for Saint Joseph's adding a team-high seven rebounds and five assists. Senior guard Craig Luschenat contributed nine points and three assists for the guests.

Albertus Magnus returns to action on Wednesday, February 3, with road conference clash versus Rivier at 7:00 pm. The Falcons are looking to complete the season sweep of the Raiders, having scored an 80-64 triumph in the first between the two squads in mid-January.

For the latest information on the men's basketball team and Albertus Magnus athletics, follow AMCAthletics on Twitter and visit AlbertusFalcons.com.