Boston, Mass. – The Albertus Magnus College women's basketball team saw its season come to an end with a 73-63 setback at Emmanuel on Tuesday evening in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Quarterfinals at the Jean Yawkey Center.
The Falcons dropped their fifth straight to end the year with a 14-11 mark, while the host Saints won their sixth consecutive contest to improve to 20-6 on the year.
Emmanuel topped AMC in the GNAC Tournament Quarterfinals at home for the second year in a row.
EC senior guard Sarah Higgins (Groveland, Mass.) led the Saints with 20 points to go along with six rebounds, four steals, four assists and three blocks. Albertus Magnus sophomore forward Olivia Bolden (South Windsor, Conn.) led all scorers with 21 points while grabbing 10 boards to register her team-leading 12th double-double.
The Falcons came out of the gates flying high, soaring ahead to an early 7-4 lead following a layup by senior forward Chelsea Sherrod (Bridgeport, Conn.), but the Saints responded with a 8-0 run fueled by four points from Higgins to take a 12-7 lead.
Emmanuel led by as many as nine in the second quarter, taking a 27-18 lead with 6:13 to play in the half after a layup by junior forward Alexis Ezell (Acworth, Ga.). Albertus Magnus kept the pressure on and by the half cut the EC lead to 39-35.
Higgins led all scorers at the break with 14 points while Bolden paced the visitors with eight. Emmanuel held a 22-10 advantage with points in the paint while the Falcons owned a 9-6 margin in second chance points at the break.
The Saints opened the third quarter on fire with baskets on the first two possessions to push the lead to 43-35 following a layup by junior guard Olivia Marks (Canterbury, Conn.). After a Falcon timeout, Emmanuel forced turnovers on the Falcons next two offensive sets, converting each for transition layups to bump the lead to double digits at 47-35.
With 7:25 to play in the third, a Marks triple increased the EC lead to 50-35 and on Emmanuel's ensuing offensive set, Marks made it 53-35 with her second three in a row. The Falcons finally got on the board in the quarter at the 5:18 marker with a pair of free throws by Bolden to make it 56-37, snapping Emmanuel's 17-0 run to open the second half. The Saints outscored the Falcons 26-11 in the quarter to take a 65-46 lead into the final frame.
Despite a late flurry by the Falcons, the 19 point lead proved too much for Albertus Magnus to overcome as Emmanuel coasted in the final quarter to the 73-63 win to advance to the GNAC Semifinals.
Along with Higgins' 20, Ezell chipped in with 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Marks finished with 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the floor while graduate student Lena Negri (Arlington, Va.) posted a double-double of 10 point and a 15 rebounds, tying her career-high mark.
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