Women's Basketball

2018-19 RECORD: 23-4; GNAC: 10-2 / GNAC TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES: 18 / ALL-GNAC PLAYERS: 32

Women's Basketball Pulls Away in the Second Half in GNAC Win

Photo by: Ron Waite/Photosportacular
Photo by: Ron Waite/Photosportacular

New Haven, Conn. – The Albertus Magnus College women's basketball team defeated visiting Anna Maria, 90-64, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action on Tuesday night at The Nest inside the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center.

With their seventh win in a row, the Falcons improve to 13-6 on the year and 5-2 in conference play, while the AMCATS suffered their ninth consecutive loss to drop to 6-14 overall and 0-8 in league tilts.

Junior guard Liz Falcigno (Wallingford, Conn.) paced the Falcon attack with 28 points courtesy of a 10-of-11 performance from the charity stripe. Albertus Magnus, who leads the GNAC in scoring, netted 90 or more points for the fifth time this winter.

Albertus Magnus came out of the gates strong, jumping out to an early 10-3 edge over the first two and a half minutes of play. During the spurt, the Falcons forced three turnovers and Falcigno netted seven points. After Anna Maria pulled within two at 12-10 later in frame following a trey from junior guard Nicole Mareiro, AMC held the guests scoreless over the final 3:41 of the frame to lead 17-10 after one. To close out the first quarter, Albertus Magnus senior forward Chelsea Sherrod (Bridgeport, Conn.) scored on a layup and Falcigno knocked down three free throws.

The second quarter was filled with runs for both teams as the AMCATS charged back to take a one-point lead and Albertus Magnus would answer and stretch their lead to as many as 11 within a four-minute span. Three minutes into the frame, Anna Maria began a 9-0 run to take a 25-24 edge. During the run, AMC committed three turnovers and the AMCATS scored on three straight possessions capped by a three-pointer from Mareiro with 5:45 left in the half. The hosts would answer with a basket by Sherrod on the following possesion and close out the quarter on a 14-7 run to hold a 40-32 advantage heading into the break.

Both teams struggled from the field in the third quarter, combining to shoot 33 percent (12-of-36). However, Albertus Magnus was able to get to the free-throw line 14 times, converting nine of their attempts to stretch the lead back to double digits. Falcigno nearly outscored the AMCATS on her own in the frame, netting 12 points thanks to hitting a pair of shots from beyond the arc.

The Falcon reserves played well during the fourth quarter and stretched the lead to as many as 26 late in the stanza. Albertus Magnus freshman Jill Johnson (North Haven, Conn.), junior Elli Sola (New Britain, Conn.) and classmate Megan Thornton (Worcester, Mass.) combined to scored 14 of the team's 26 points over the final 10 minutes.

Falcigno led the Albertus charge offensively, shooting 7-of-15 from the field to top the 20-point plateau for the third game in a row. Falcigno, who leads the GNAC in three-point field goal percentage, also knocked down 4-of-9 from deep. Albertus Magnus sophomore forward Olivia Bolden (South Windsor, Conn.) added 14 points and Johnson scored a career-high 10 for the Falcons off the bench. Senior forward Kelsey Pendagast (Shelton, Conn.) was a force on the boards for the hosts, pulling down a game-high 16 rebounds.

Three AMCATS scored in double figures led by Mareiro with 18 off the bench. Mareiro shot an effective 6-of-11 from the field, highlighted by hitting four treys. Junior guard Deja Taitt had a solid game for the guests, scoring 16 points to go along with a game-high seven assists and six rebounds. Junior guard Christina Gauvin was the other Anna Maria player in double figures with 15.

The seven straight victories are tied for the longest unbeaten streak for the Falcons under fourth-year Head Coach JR Fredette.

Albertus Magnus returns to action on Thursday, February 4, with a home non-conference clash against in-state foe Connecticut College at 7:00 pm. The Falcons are looking to avenge a 73-47 setback versus the Camels in New London last season.

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