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Albertus Magnus advances to GNAC championship game

The Albertus Magnus men’s basketball team defeated Lasell College 91-72 on Thursday night in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament semifinal round.  With the win, the Falcons will now play in the GNAC Championship contest for the third-straight year. They will take on St. Joseph’s College of Maine on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in the final in New Haven.

Tonight’s win improves the Falcons’ record to 25-2 on the year, while the Falcons pick up their 40th-straight home victory, the longest current home winning streak in NCAA men’s basketball. The loss drops the Lasers’ record to 16-11 on the year.

Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.) led all scorers with 27 points as he shot 9-of-13 from the field to go along with nine rebounds.  Victor Ljuljdjuraj (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for his 16th double-double of the season.

Two other starters’ tallied double-figures for the Falcons as Eian Davis (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored 19 points, while adding nine boards and seven assists. Lemar Larsen (Waterbury, Conn.) added 10 points on 2-for-4 shooting.

The Falcons shot 52% from the floor, including a 53.8% showing in the first half, while Lasell shot 40.6% on the night.

The Falcons opened the contest with a 7-2 run before the Lasers cut the lead to two at 9-7 with 13:16 left in the first half.  Albertus put together a 10-0 run in a span of 5:20 to make the score 19-7 to take a 12-point lead with 7:56 left in the frame. During the run, Watson andJames Jennings (Bridgeport, Conn.) hit back-to-back three pointers to add to the Falcons’ lead.

The Falcons’ largest lead of the first half came with 3:53 left in the frame as Larsen connected on a layup to give Albertus a 17-point advantage.

After shooting just 1-of-1 from the free-throw line in the first half, the Falcons shot 32-of-41 from the charity stripe in the second frame to secure the victory.

Lasell was led by Brandon Ganesh with 17 points, while Clyde Niba added 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Albertus is now 12-4 all-time against Lasell and 7-2 all-time when playing in New Haven on the Falcons’ home court.  The Falcons have also won the last 12-straight meetings between the two programs.  Tonight marked the third time this season that the Falcons defeated the Lasers as well.

Albertus and St. Joseph’s College (Maine) will meet again this Saturday for the GNAC Tournament final, which will take place at 1:00 p.m. in the Albertus Magnus College Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center.