New Haven, Conn. – Junior guard Grant Ellis (Newark, N.J.) scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Albertus Magnus College men's basketball team past visiting Mount Ida, 109-87, on Tuesday evening in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Quarterfinals at The Nest inside the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center.
With their fifth straight victory, the third-seeded Falcons improve to 19-5 on the year, while the sixth-seeded Mustangs see their season come to an end with an 11-15 mark. The triumph was the third of the season for AMC against Mount Ida, as the Falcons have won 16 of the last 18 meetings betweek the two teams.
In his best game as a Falcon, Ellis shot 5-of-10 from beyond the arc to go along with five boards, one assist and one block. Albertus Magnus senior wing Marc Wilson (Jersey City, N.J.) added 19 points and nine boards in the win for the hosts. Freshman guard Dennis Ross (Portland, Maine) paced the Mustang attack with 15 points off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting.
Albertus Magnus opened the game on a 12-6 run capped by a layup from sophomore forward Jaqhawn Walters (Hartford, Conn.) over the first three and a half minutes of action. Mount Ida would answer with a 5-0 spurt to pull within one at 12-11 after a layup from Jacob Sartain.
Later in the first half, the Falcons used a 16-3 run capped by a pair of free throws from freshman Med Fofana (Bronx, N.Y.) to stretch their lead to 17 at 37-20 with 5:36 left in the stanza. The teams would trade buckets over the remainder of the opening 20 minutes and a trey from Mustang sophomore guard John Oliver closed out the scoring to give the hosts a 49-31 advantage at the break.
AMC pulled away in the second half, scoring 60 points and shooting 58 percent from three-point range. Over the final 20 minutes, the home team connected on 7-of-12 from deep, highlighted by Ellis hitting four. The Falcons stretched their lead to as many 34 midway through the second stanza following a layup in the post from freshman forward Shontaey Lovell (Brooklyn, N.Y.). The Albertus reserves maintained the edge down the stretch and freshman Matt Hamilton (Hamden, Conn.) put the exclamation point on the win with a dunk off a lob pass from classmate Ryan Pittman (Stratford, Conn.).
Walters was the third Falcon in double figures with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds and two blocks, while Lovell and Pittman each added nine. Pittman filled out the stat sheet, dishing out eight assists and pullind down six boards.
Three other Mustangs scored in double figures besides Ross, led by sophomore guard Joey DeFillippi (Bristol, Conn.) with 13 points. Sophomore Brendan Cunningham (Quincy, Mass.) added 12 points off the bench, whil Sartain netted 10.
Albertus Magnus will travel to square off with second-seeded Lasell on Thursday, February 25, at 7:00 pm in the GNAC Semifinals. The Falcons are looking to avenge a pair of losses to the Lasers this winter.