FINAL SCORE: Albertus Magnus 107 | Mount Ida 68
TEAM RECORDS: Albertus Magnus (22-4) | Mount Ida (17-10)
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Junior Jaqhawn Walters (Hartford, Conn.) recorded his 22nd double-double of the season, 23 points and 10 rebounds, to lead the top-seeded Albertus Magnus College men's basketball team past the fourth-seeded Mount Ida Mustangs, 107-68, on Thursday evening in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Semifinals inside Athletic Center Gym.
With their eighth straight victory, the Falcons improve to 22-4 on the year and advance to Saturday's conference championship, while the Mustangs see their season come to an end with a 17-10 mark.
HOW IT HAPPENED
It was all Albertus in the first half as the Falcons opened the game with the early 12-4 lead heading into a Mustang' timeout just five minutes in. At the 14:11 mark, Jacob Sartain of Mount Ida sparked an 8-2 run to cut the Falcons' lead to two, 14-12.
Over the next couple of minutes, Mount Ida forced two ties before Albertus pushed its lead to 15, 34-19, with 4:47 left in the first. The Mustangs battled back to within nine, 38-29, following a jumper from Kevin Vanderhorst, but Albertus would close out the first with a 10-0 run to take a 48-29 lead at the half.
Albertus blew open the game in the second half shooting 53.7 percent from the field and getting 11 points from Walters and 35 points from the bench.
The Falcons continued their run into the second half and found themselves up 27, 57-30, following a 9-1 run just three minutes in. Mount Ida continued to chip away at the hosts' lead, but at the 9:38 mark the Falcons pushed their lead to 30 and never looked back.
FIRST HALF STATS
- Shaquille Mitchell (Linden, N.J.) led the offensive charge with 16 points while shooting 5-of-11 from the field as well as shot 100 percent from the free throw line.
- The Falcons heled a 21-17 edge over Mount Ida in rebounds.
- Ethan Dujon posted eight points in the first half for the Mustangs while recording a team-high four made field goals.
- Mount Ida forced two ties at the 9:05 mark and 8:29 mark.
SECOND HALF STATS
- Dennis Ross of Mount Ida scored 13 of his 17 points over the final 20 minutes of play.
- Walters had a better second half as the junior scored a team-high 11 points and six rebounds.
- Along with Walters, Jemaa Yuori (Ghana) tallied a team-high two blocks.
- Mount Ida held a 3-5 edge over Albertus in turnovers.
- Senior Shaquille Mitchell (Linden, N.J.) and junior Ryan Pittman (Stratford, Conn.) also scored in double-figures for the Falcons with 16 and 13 points apiece.
- The Falcons finished the game shooting an impressive 51.4 percent from the floor and held the Mustangs to 36.1 percent.
- Dennis Ross led the Mustangs with 17 points while Ethan Dujon and Joey DeFillippi scored 15 and 11 points, respectively.
- Albertus dominated in the paint scoring 58 points as well as tallied 23 second chance points.
- All 14 players for Albertus scored at least two points to help the team to victory.
Albertus Magnus will host the third-seed Lasell College in the GNAC Championship on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 1p.m.