Albertus Magnus eases to victory
Falcons grab 23rd consecutive win, top Saint Joseph's (L.I.)
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- After shooting 56.4-percent from the floor, Albertus Magnus defeated Saint Joseph's (L.I.) 87-84 Friday to advance to the second round of the Division III tournament.
After going ahead as much as 20 points with 12:29 left in the contest, Saint Joseph's battled back, taking a lead with less than three minutes on the clock. A free throw by Darius Watson with 1:18 left in the contest gave the Falcons a one-point lead before junior Arshad Jackson connected on a lay-up with 26 seconds left, to put the Falcons up by three. The Eagles missed two 3-pointers in the final seconds of the game as the Falcons clinched the three-point victory.
With their 23rd consecutive win, the Falcons improved to 28-1 on the year as the Eagles finish the 2011-12 season with a 21-5 overall showing.
The win marks the second NCAA tournament victory for the Falcons, with the first coming in 2009-10 when Albertus defeated then-No. 7 William Paterson 57-55 at the buzzer.
In Friday's victory, Albertus shot 56.4-percent from the floor, while connecting on 22-of-32 attempts from the free-throw line.
Ray Askew recorded his 13th double-double of the season with a 28-point and 12-rebound effort. He registered 20 or more points for the 20th time of the season.
Darius Watson also had a game-high 28 points as he shot 10-of-17 from the floor.
Jefferson Lora added 10 points and nine rebounds as his double-digit effort marked his 10th game this season. Freshman Spencer Smith added eight points and six rebounds on 4-of-5 shooting.
After leading 13-11 early in the contest, the Falcons went on a 9-0 run to grab a 22-11 advantage with 11:06 left to play in the first half. The lead grew to as many as 14 before a lay-up from Zach Dugas gave Albertus Magnus a 39-27 lead at the intermission.
A 3 from Chris Jimenez cut the Albertus Magnus lead to eight early in the second half. The Falcons extended their advantage to a game-high 20 points at 60-40 with 12:29 remaining on a bucket from Spencer Smith. The Golden Eagles chipped away, coming within 12 before the Falcons increased their lead to 17 on a basket from Darius Watson with 8:34 remaining.
Saint Joseph's went on a 16-2 run to take an 81-79 lead, the Eagles' first lead of the game. The Eagles had one final shot to tie the game, but a 3 from Jimenez was off the mark as time expired.
Eric Klingsberg paced the Eagles with 20 points off the bench. Saint Joseph's scored 31 points on 21 Albertus' turnovers, while the Falcons held a 49-32 rebounding advantage. Saint Joseph's finished the night shooting 5-of-30 behind the arc for 16.7-percent.