Albertus Magnus advances to Round of 16 for first time in school history
PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Albertus Magnus will advance to the NCAA tournament Round of 16 for the first time in school history as the Falcons defeated Purchase State 87-79 in second round action on Saturday night.
The victory marked the second in two days for the Falcons against a ranked opponent as Albertus defeated WPI on Friday night in first round action.
The Falcons are now 28-2 on the year to tie the program's record in wins in a single-season.
Darius Watson led all scorers with 26 points in 40 minutes of work as he added eight rebounds. Victor Ljuljdjuraj, who posted a double-double with his first-half points alone, finished the night with 24 points and an impressive 17 rebounds. James Jennings added 15 points for the Falcons.
The Falcons, who played in their seventh NCAA tournament game, are now 4-3 in NCAA postseason play and win a second-round NCAA tournament game for the first time in program history.
Albertus opened tonight's contest with a 5-0 run before extending that lead to 7-2 on a Lemar Larsen lay-in. Purchase battled back to tie the game at nine 4 minutes into play on a Justin Person free throw.
Play continued back-and-forth throughout the first half as there were five tied scores and eight lead changes in the opening 20 minutes of play.
Ljuljdjuraj led all scorers with 14 points and 11 rebounds in the first half of play. He shot 5-of-8 from the floor and 4-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Albertus led by as many as 13 points in the second half thanks to a three pointer from Watson with 6:25 to go as stellar ball movement found the senior wide open from behind the arc.
Purchase cut the lead to five with 1:52 left on the clock before the Falcons matched the Panthers' point tally to keep their lead to at least six to eight points. Final second free throws secured the victory for the Falcons as they pulled away with the eight-point victory.