NEW HAVEN, CT – Saint Joseph's (17-8, 13-5 GNAC) fell to Albertus Magnus College (24-1, 18-0 GNAC), 75-62, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball tilt on Saturday afternoon. Senior guard Zach O'Brien (Schenectady, N.Y.) netted a game-high 26 points in the losing effort.
With the victory, the Falcons secure the top seed in the upcoming GNAC Tournament, which begins on Tuesday night. Albertus, the only team in GNAC Men's Basketball history to post a spotless conference record, will host #8 Emerson College (7-18, 6-12 GNAC) at 7:00 PM.
Saint Joseph's, the #2 seed, is set to host #7 Mount Ida College (9-16, 6-12 GNAC) at 7:30 PM on Tuesday evening. The contest will mark the second consecutive season in which the Monks have hosted the Mustangs in the opening round of the conference tourney.
Senior center Ray Askew (Hamden, Conn.) led the Falcons with 22 points and five rebounds for his 18th game of the year with 20 or more points. Askew shot 6-of-12 from the floor, while he shot 9-of-17 from the free-throw line, before fouling out of the game at the three-minute mark.
Arshad Jackson (Hartford, Conn.), who entered the game averaging 12.3 points and 5.3 assists per game, contributed with 20 points after leading the Falcons into the break with 10 points and seven rebounds. At intermission, Albertus led by two at 36-34.
Albertus' largest lead of the opening half came at the 4:53 mark as the Falcons took an eight-point lead as Askew connected on a lay-up to put the Falcons ahead, 29-21.
The Falcons, ranked 20th in the most recent d3hoops.com national poll and 10th in the latest NCAA regional rankings, shot 41.2-percent in the opening frame, while scoring 10 points on seven Saint Joseph's turnovers. During the opening stanza, there were six lead changes and the score was tied three times.
After the Monks took a 52-51 edge in the second half, the Falcons battled back and were able to extend their lead to double-digits at 66-56 with three minutes left on the clock before cruising to the GNAC victory.
Sophomore guard Matthew Medeiros (Westport, Mass.) added 12 points, four rebounds and four assists and sophomore forward Bruno Cavallo (Hampton Bays, N.Y.) chipped in with a career-high eight points. Sophomore forward James Philbrook (Auburn, Maine) tallied six points and nine rebounds and junior point guard Julio Vazquez (Waterbury, Conn.) contributed five points, seven caroms, six assists and a pair of steals in the loss.
O'Brien became the ninth player in program history to reach the 1,500-point plateau and the first since C.J. Vose '03 surpassed the mark during his senior season. O'Brien has 1,504 career points heading into the GNAC Tournament.
Zach Dugas (Monroe, Conn.) added six points for the Falcons, while Jefferson Lora (Bronx, N.Y.) recorded his third double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
With 2,210 career points, Askew is now just 24 shy of the Albertus Magnus men's basketball record of 2,234 held by Tim Russell '05. The senior, who already holds the Albertus and GNAC record in total rebounds, extended his career total to 1,144 in today's game.
THANKS IN PART TO ALBERTUS MAGNUS COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION