Men's Basketball Falls on the Road to Lasell in Conference Play

Photo by: Zaida Velazco
Photo by: Zaida Velazco

Newton, Mass. – The Albertus Magnus College men's basketball team fell on the road to host Lasell, 98-83, on Saturday afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action at Athletic Center Gym.

With the setback, the Falcons move to 14-4 overall and 10-3 in conference play, while the Lasers completed the season sweep of AMC to improve to 16-5 on the year and 13-1 in league tilts.

The two key factors in the contest proved to be three-point shooting and free-throw percentage with Lasell holding the edge in both. The hosts knocked down 12-of-24 shots from beyond the arc compared to the visitors hitting just 3-of-11 attempts from deep. At the charity stripe, the Lasers converted on an impressive 36-of-42 attempts (85 percent), while the Falcons hit just 16-of-27 (59 percent).

Sophomore forward Jaqhawn Walters (Hartford, Conn.) led the Falcon attack with a double-double courtesy of a 27-point, 11-rebound performance. Walters hit 11 field goals and dished out five assists, while contributing one block and one steal on the defensive end.

It was a two-headed attack for Lasell as the backcourt duo of Armin Ovanovic and Scott Arsenault combined to score 56 points. Ovanovic poured in 27 points thanks to a 21-of-22 showing at the free-throw line to go along with a game-high nine assists. Arsenault poured in a game-high 29 points, highlighted by shooting 9-of-14 from three-point range.

The guests came out of the gates quickly, jumping out to an early 7-0 lead over the first two minutes of play. During the spurt, Walters scored four points and freshman big man Shontaey Lovell (Brooklyn, N.Y.) capped the run with a free throw.

With 8:47 left in the first half, AMC took its largest lead of the game at 30-18 courtest of a trey from junior guard Grant Ellis (Newark, N.J.). Following the Ellis three-pointer, the hosts answered with an 18-3 run capped by a free throw by Derek McMahon to lead 36-33 with just under five minuted left in the opening frame. With less than two minutes left in the first stanza, Lasell took its largest lead of the half at 47-40 after a dunk from Logan Liberty. McMahon closed out the scoring in the first half with a pair of free throws as Lasell took a 50-44 edge into halftime.

The hosts never trailed in the second half en route to the victory. Albertus Magnus cut the deficit to two possesions several times in the second stanza, but each time Lasell answered with spurts of their own. The Lasers were able to stretch their lead to as many as 15 midway through the half and closed on a 5-0 run over the final 1:18.

AMC freshman point guard Ryan Pittman (Stratford, Conn.) had an efficient game for the visitors, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go along four rebounds and five assists.

Albertus Magnus returns to action on Tuesday, February 9, with a home conference clash against Anna Maria at 7:00 pm inside The Nest. The Falcons are looking to sweep the season series with the AMCATS after taking the first meeting between the two, 108-93, in early January.

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