New Haven, Conn. – The Albertus Magnus College men's basketball team punched its ticket to the program's ninth consecutive Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Championship Game with a thrilling 95-94 win over Lasell University on Wednesday evening at The Nest.
FINAL: Albertus Magnus 95 | Lasell 94
RECORDS: Albertus Magnus (22-4 Overall, 9-2 GNAC) | Lasell (10-17 Overall, 6-5 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Falcons jumped out to an early 7-2 lead on jumpers from Tyreek Perkins (New Haven, Conn.) and Qualon Wilkes (Bridgeport, Conn.), and a driving layup by Liam Perryman (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.). EJ Day erased the quick lead with back-to-back 3-pointers and a layup to give the Lasers a 10-7 advantage. Lasell then went on a short 6-0 spurt on 3-pointers by Kevin Vanderhoorst and Kevin Nunez to bring to take a seven-point lead, 16-9, four minutes into the half.
An Andrew Rice (West Haven, Conn.) dunk brought the Falcons to within four, before Vanderhorst nailed his second three of the night, bringing the visitor's lead to seven,19-12, with just under 14 minutes remaining in the half. The teams then traded baskets for the next several minutes, before Terry Dawkins (Bronx, N.Y.) cut the visitors' lead to four, 29-25, on a pair of made free throws with just over 10 minutes remaining in the half. Davon Warner (New Haven, Conn.) then swished a deep trey on a pass from Jahmerikah Green-Younger (Norwalk, Conn.) to make it a one-point game, 29-28.
The Falcons went on an explosive 11-2 run with five and a half minutes remaining in the first half to take a six-point advantage, 41-35, with both Rice and Keithantonio Davis (Vorhees, N.J.) tallying four points in the surge. A Day 3-pointer sparked an 8-2 Laser run that tied the game at 43 with just over two minutes left in the half.
Justice Washington (Hamden, Conn.) scored a layup to regain the advantage for the Falcons 45-43. A pair of fouls on the Lasers' Demerrick Warren gave the visitors the lead once more 46-45, as he went 3-for-4 on his attempts. Dawkins sent the Falcons into the halftime break ahead 47-46 with a buzzer-beating layup.
Friberg opened the second half with a deep three to make it 49-47 Lasers, before Perryman retaliated with a layup to make it 49-all. The Falcons then went on an 8-0 spurt to bring the score to 57-49 with just over 15 minutes remaining to force the Lasers to call a timeout. Out of the break, the Lasers went on a 6-0 run, cutting the Falcon lead to one, 57-56, with just under 13 minutes to play.
Rice then swished a long basket from behind the arc to stop the Lasell spurt, 60-56, before a steal and a put-back by Dawkins brought the score to 62-56. Day retaliated with another trey to get the visitors within three, 62-59. The teams then traded baskets, before the Lasers' Warren nailed a three to make it 66-all and forcing the Falcons to call a timeout with 10:12 left.
Out of the timeout, the Lasers' Warren continued his long-range attack with another deep shot from behind the arc, giving the Lasers the one-point lead, 69-68, with just under nine minutes left. Dawkins retaliated with a traditional three-point play to regain the lead for the Falcons, 71-69, that was quickly erased by a Lasers' jumper to make it 71-all. A slew of fouls gave the Lasers a 4-point advantage, 75-71, before Dawkins dropped in an easy layup to cut the Falcons' deficit to two, 75-73, with seven minutes remaining. The Lasers pressed their advantage, going on an 8-2 run, to take an 8-point lead, 83-75, with four and a half minutes remaining in regulation. The Falcons stormed back with an 8-4 push to make it a four-point spread, 87-83 with just under three minutes remaining.
The Falcons then went on a 12-7 run over the final two-and-a-half minutes, with Rice contributing 10 points on four layups and a pair of traditional three-point plays, to clinch the game 95-94.
Trailing by two, 95-93, the Lasers had a chance to steal the win, with Demerrick Warren stepping to the line after being fouled on a 3-pointer. Warren sunk the first, but a raucous home crowd and a few well-played timeouts resulted in the freshmen missing the next two attempts to end the game.
With the win, the Falcons make their ninth straight GNAC Tournament Championship appearance and 12th overall.
- Albertus - 43.9% FG | 23.5%3PT| 67.9%FT
- Lasell - 56.6% FG | 61.9%3PT| 70%FT
- This game had six ties and nine lead changes.
- Terry Dawkins - 25 points (9-17 FG, 7-10 FT) | 16 rebounds | 3 assists | 2 steals
- Andrew Rice - 24 points (9-13 FG, 1-2 3PT, 5-9 FT) | 8 rebounds | 2 assists | 4 steals
- Tyreek Perkins - 11 points (5-12 FG, 0-3 3PT, 1-2 FT) | 2 rebound | 3 assists | 1 steal | 1 block
- EJ Day - 38 points (13-20 FG, 5-6 3PT, 7-8 FT) | 4 rebounds | 5 assists | 3 steals
- Kevin Nunez - 19 points (6-13 FG, 2-4 3PT, 5-6 FT) | 3 rebounds | 3 assists
- Demerrick Warren - 16 points (3-4 FG, 2-3 3PT, 8-12 FT) | 1 rebound | 1 steal
- Kevin Vanderhorst - 12 points (5-8 FG, 2-3 3PT) | 6 rebounds | 1 assist | 1 steal
- Albertus: Terry Dawkins (25 points, 16 rebounds)
- Albertus faced Lasell earlier this season and defeated the Lasers, 105-97.
- The Falcons are now 24-6 all-time against the Lasers.
- The Falcons all-time postseason record is now 35-11 and is 7-0 against the Lasers in the postseason.
- Dawkins collected his fourth double-double of the season behind a season-high 25 points and 16 rebounds.
- Rice was two rebounds shy of recording his second double-double of the season.
- Along with Perkins, freshman Washington posted a team-high one block.
- Wilkes led the Falcons' offensive unit with four assists to go with three points, three steals and two rebounds.
- Albertus dominated on the glass, 46-34, as well as in the paint outscoring Lasell, 54-30.
- The Falcons held the advantage in second chance points, 23-4.
- Albertus' bench scored 45 of its 95 points.
The Falcons advance to the GNAC Championship game, which will be held on Sunday, March 1 with the time and location still to be determined.
Albertus will face either top-seed Saint Joseph's (CT) or fourth-seeded Anna Maria College. The second semifinal game between the Blue Jays and AMCATS will be played on Friday, February 28th at 7 PM in West Hartford, Conn.