Mass. College Hoops: No. 14 WPI Falls Short To No. 13 Albertus Magnis In NCAA Tournament

By NoontimeSports.com

Courtesy of the WPI sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the Engineers’ first-round NCAA Tournament matchup against Albertus Magnus. WPI lost to Albertus Magnus, 68-66:

Purchase, NY — No. 13 ranked Albertus Magnus used a late 11-2 run to rally to defeat No. 14 ranked WPI 68-66 Friday evening in a NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament first round contest played at SUNY Purchase.

Albertus Magnus (27-2) advances to Saturday’s second round at 7pm against the winner of the host Panthers and Hartwick. WPI, who was appearing in its eighth NCAA Tournament in the last 10 years, completes its season with a 22-5 mark.

WPI went ahead 56-53 on a long 3-pointer by Matt Harrington (Shrewsbury, MA) with 5:30 left.  After the two teams traded baskets, the Falcons embarked upon game-deciding spurt when James Jennings (Bridgeport, CT) canned a trifecta of his own to level the game at 58-58.

Lightning-quick point guard Eian Davis (Brooklyn, NY) responded with a free throw and a short jumper and big man Victor Ljuljdjuraj (Yorktown Heights, NY) drained a pair of buckets sandwiched around an Aaron Davis (Marshfield, MA) jumper for WPI, giving AMC a 65-60 edge with a minute left.

After the two teams combined for three empty possessions, Albertus Magnus nailed three free throws in the final 12 seconds to hold off a hard-charging Engineer team that connected on a pair of three-pointers in the same span, including one at the buzzer by Aaron Davis.

The first half began at a frantic pace, with Albertus Magnus canning 7-of-8 shots from the floor en route to a 10 point edge at 29-19 midway through the stanza.  At that point, WPI’s defense took over and spearheaded a 15-0 run highlighted by four charges taken that helped fuel a 36-34 halftime advantage.

Eian Davis dodged foul trouble, including three before halftime to register game-highs of 22 points, six assists and two steals. Darius Watson (New Britain, CT) scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half, including drilling all four of his 3-pointers in a 4:32 span early in the game while the 6-8 Ljuljdjuraj posted 14 points and 11 rebounds en route to a double-double.

Domenick Mastascusa (North Reading, MA) was outstanding for WPI, tallying a team-best 19 points, to go along with seven boards, all defensive.

Zack Karalis (North Andover, MA) contributed 14 points, including four 3-pointers and tied his career-best nine rebounds.  Harrington matched his career-high with 11 points while Sam Longwell (Acton, MA) carried the mail early for the Crimson and Gray, scoring eight points before sliding over to help contain Watson in the second half.  Longwell will enter his senior season in November just 3 points short of 1,000.

Senior Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) chipped in with seven points for the Engineers, who recorded assists on 18 of 24 baskets. on the night.   The game marked the final contest for Kolb and classmates Chad LaBove (Shrewsbury, MA) and Drew Osei (Buffalo, NY).

Mass. College Hoops: Anna Maria Falls Short In GNAC Championship

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Anna Maria College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the men’s basketball game this afternoon. The AMCATs fell short of winning a Great Northeast Athletic Conference crown as Albertus Magnus defeated the hosts:

PAXTON, Mass. (02.23.13) – Junior Darius Watson (New Britain, CT) scored 34 points and grabbed 12 rebound to led the #2 seed Albertus Magnus men’s basketball team to an 87-80 victory over #1 seed Anna Maria College in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday afternoon at the Fuller Activities Center.

With the win the Falcons (24-4) become the first team since Norwich University in ’04-05, ’05-06 to win back-to-back conference titles, while the AMCATS snap a 17-game winning streak and drop to 20-8.

Anna Maria’s Anthony Click (Springfield, MA) and Brad Peterson (North Kingstown, RI) each notched double-doubles for the AMCATS. The senior captain poured in a team-high17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out 5 assists and made 3 steals, number 40 also notched 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting and pulled down 11 boards. Starters Joseph Barillo (Dania Beach, FLA) and Javier Bristol (Haverhill, MA) each added 10 points for the AMCATS in the loss.

Pacing the Falcons, senior Jefferson Lora (Bronx, NY) contributed 11 points and 9 rebounds while freshman James Jennings (Stratford, CT) also scored in double figures adding 17 points on 4-for-9 from beyond the three point mark.

The AMCATS started slow out of the gates as Albertus opened with consecutive baskets by Lora and Jennings for a quick 5-0 lead. Anna Maria then responded with a 12-0 run en route to a 12-5 advantage with 13:47 on the clock. Click was instrumental during the run, accounting for nine of the AMCATS’ twelve points.

Albertus stopped the run with a jumper in the paint by Lora to cut the deficit to 12-7 but again the AMCATS responded with a strong 8-1 run for a 20-8 advantage and their biggest lead of the game with just over ten minutes to play in the half.

The Falcons would chip away at the lead answering with a 14-2 streak to tie the game at 22-all with 5:08 remaining in the first stanza. The teams would trade baskets down the stretch, with Watson scoring eight of the final ten points of the half for Albertus. Anna Maria countered with a trifecta from Barillo and a pair of Hugh Daye (Worcester, MA) free-throws to carry a 36-32 lead into intermission.

Trailing to start the second half, Albertus outscored the AMCATS 8-2 and with 17:20 to play in the game we had a tied ballgame at 40-40.  Bristol hit a jumper in the paint to gain the two point advantage for the AMCATS but Jennings responded with a NBA 3-pointer to give the Falcons their first lead of the second half at 43-42.

AMCAT Joey Barillo sank a trey of his own and Click hit one-of-two from the charity stripe to push the AMCATS ahead 48-46. On the ensuing play Watson, after being fouled underneath, sank two freebies to tie the game at 48-48 with 14 minutes still to play. The two teams traded buckets and were still tied 63-63 with 6:57 remaining.

With 6:19 ticks on the clock, the Falcons then erupted to score eleven unanswered points, opening up a 12-point cushion at 77-65. Albertus’ Watson was a key factor in the run, contributing 6 points, while Jennings added the other five.

Anna Maria refused to go quietly; five consecutive free throws from Daye, Tyler Delorey (Worcester, MA) and Click cut the Falcon lead to 81-76 with just under a minute to  play but AMCATS couldn’t get any closer than five points finally falling 87-80 to the visiting Falcons.

Anna Maria held the slight shooting advantage on the night 43.8% to Albertus’ 40.3%. Albertus connected on ten three-pointers to just three for the AMCATS. Anna Maria out rebounded the Falcons 46-41.

With the win Albertus qualifies for the NCAA Division III tournament, selection announcement is set for Monday afternoon at 12:30pm. Anna Maria will wait until Monday evening for an ECAC Tournament invitation.

Mass. College Hoops: Anna Maria Stuns No. 19 Albertus Magnus, 97-88

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of Anna Maria College’s sports information department, here’s today release pertaining toward the men’s basketball team, which handed Albertus Magnus its first GNAC (Great Northeast Atlantic Conference) loss of the season:

Paxton, MA (01.21.13) – The Anna Maria College men’s basketball team downed Albertus Magnus College, the 19th ranked team in NCAA Division III, 97-88 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action today at The Fuller Activities Center Anthony Click (Springfield, MA), Bradley Peterson (N. Kingstown, RI) and Joseph Barillo (Dania Beach, FL) made major contributions, teaming up to score 61 points combined. With the upset win Anna Maria’s record improved to 9-7 on the year and 7-2 in the GNAC. Albertus received their first loss in conference play, dropping to 10-1 in the GNAC and 15-2 overall.

The opening half of the contest saw both teams trading baskets but unable to gain the upper hand on the scoreboard. Anthony Click, a senior forward, played a well-rounded first half, scoring 9 points and grabbing 3 boards while also dishing out 5 assists. Post grad forward Bradley Peterson played a major role in keeping the game close, scrambling for rebounds on both sides of the court and knocking down key jump shots on his way to 9 points and 4 rebounds in the first half.

To no one’s surprise, the high octane Falcons’ offense was more than able to keep pace with the phenomenal play of the AMCATS. Darius Watson (New Britain, CT), a junior guard for the visiting Falcons, led both teams with 10 first half points and 4 rebounds. Senior guard Arshad Jackson (Hartford, CT) scored 8 points on 3-5 shooting from the field.Sophomore guard Lemar Larsen (Waterbury, CT) and senior guard James Economopolous (Wallingford, CT) each contributed 7 points to the Albertus Magnus’ effort.

AMCATS’ freshman Tyler Delorey (Worcester, MA) also had a significant impact in the first stanza, single handedly pulling in 8 rebounds in the first half and leading Anna Maria to a 25-18 advantage off of the glass. He ended up finishing with 5 points, but led the team with 10 rebounds. Despite the rebounding advantage, the Falcons still went in to the locker room at the half leading 43-42 after shooting an impressive 51.9% from the field.

It seemed highly improbable for both teams to actually be able to continue the offensive output of the first half, but they somehow managed to increase the pace, easily beating their scoring in the first half. Watson continued his magnificent play, ending the game with a game high 29 points and 6 rebounds. James Jennings (Stratford, CT) scored 12 second half points, including 3 three pointers, on his way to 15 points total. Larsen finished up with a 10 point and 10 rebound double double.

The Falcons’ Jennings opened up the second half with a basket, however Anna Maria’s Peterson responded with six of the next eight AMCATS points to tie the match at 50-50, with 16 minutes to play.  The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes and when Peterson dunked at 13:28 the game was tied for the eighth time at 58-58.

Anna Maria pushed the lead to five, 68-63, when Hugh Daye hit Barillo crosscourt for the fast break layup in the paint with 10:29 on the clock. Upset with a defensive foul, Albertus’ head coach Mitch Oliver received his second technical of the game and was ejected at 8:22 with his team down 72-70, the AMCATS would never trail again. Albertus Magnus would knot the game at 81 apiece with a Julian Sanders jumper with 4:49 to play but the Falcons could not push ahead. Three quick baskets by Anna Maria’s Click, Bristol and Barillo put the AMCATS ahead 87-81, a lead they would never relinquish.

Sophomore guard Hugh Daye (Worcester, MA) came off of the bench providing a huge emotional spark and, even more importantly, a huge offensive outburst. He finished the game with 10 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds. It was the continued output of Click, Barillo and Peterson that gave Anna Maria the edge. Click stuffed the stats with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists on 9-15 shooting. Peterson ended with a strong 20 and 9, and Barillo dropped 19 points and grabbed 6 boards.

In a game where all other stats were virtually neck and neck, rebounding remained to be the key to the AMCATS’ victory this afternoon. They were able to pull in 52 boards, 20 of which came on the offensive end. This allowed the AMCATS to take 20 more shots than the Falcons’, a number of which fell for them.

The Anna Maria College Men’s Basketball team returns to the Fuller Athletics center to take on the Lions of Emerson College in a GNAC contest scheduled for 7pm on Thursday, January 24th.