Score: Emmanuel College, 93; Albertus Magnus College, 104
Records: Emmanuel College Saints (18-8, 8-3 GNAC)
Albertus Magnus Falcons (19-7, 9-2 GNAC)
Location: New Haven, Conn. – Cosgrove Center
Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019
THE LEAD: Four different players scored in double-figures to power the top-seeded Albertus Magnus College Falcons past the No. 4 seeded Emmanuel College Saints, 104-93, on Thursday evening in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men's Basketball semifinals at the Cosgrove Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Albertus raced out to a quick 5-0 lead to open the action but a four-point play by senior forward Isaiah Ruffen (Haverhill, Mass.) pulled the Saints to within two at 11-9.
- Another Ruffen triple gave the Saints their first lead of the night at 16-15 but the Falcons rattled off five quick points capped by a three by senior Ryan Pittman (Stratford, Conn.) to pull the Falcons ahead 20-16 with 14:42 left in the half.
- Senior forward Ira Lough (North Smithfield, R.I.) drained a three on the wing to even the score at 22-22 before the squads traded points to keep it even at 24-all with just over 12 minutes left in the stanza.
- An 8-0 run by the Falcons forced the Saints to burn a timeout trailing 32-24 with 10:49 left on the clock before EC junior guard Emmett Riddick (Middletown, Conn.) ended the run with a pair of free throws on the next possession to pull Emmanuel back to a 32-26 score.
- With 5:32 to play in the half a pair of Pittman free throws gave the Falcons their first double-digit lead of the night at 44-34 and the hosts built the lead to 54-41 heading into the halftime intermission.
- Ruffen and Albertus Magnus freshman Devon Warner (New Haven, Conn.) led the way at the break each with 13 points.
- Emmanuel opened the second frame scoring on its first five offensive possessions to cut the deficit to 55-51 following a three by Riddick with 18:24 remaining.
- Riddick netted his 1,000th career point with a free throw and then back-to-back triples by Riddick and Tamburro made it a one-point game at 59-58.
- With 15:14 to play, Tamburro evened the score with a baseline triple at 61-61 before an old fashioned three point play by sophomore Zachary Crisafulli (Easthampton, Mass.) gave the Saints a 64-61 lead.
- A thunderous dunk off a spin move from Liam Perryman (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) brought the New Haven crowd to its feet to give the Falcons a 64-66 lead but the Saints answered on the next possession to regain the 66-65 led.
- A 10-0 run by the Falcons fueled by five points from Warner bumped the hosts lead back to nine at 75-66.
- A jumper by Riddick and a pair of Tamburro free throws made it a one-possession game at 79-76 before Tamburro's fast-break layup cut the deficit to one at 81-80 with 6:12 to play in regulation.
- The Saints had a chance to regain the lead with four free throws following an Albertus bench technical and two free throws in the double-bonus but only converted one of the four from the stripe to keep the advantage at 85-83, Falcons.
- Albertus scored the next four points to extend the lead to 89-83 but a Crisafulli put back with 2:56 to play once again made it a one-possession game at 90-87.
- A steal and layup by Andrew Rice (West Haven, Conn.) with just over a minute remaining made it 97-87 and all but sealed the win for the Falcons who closed out the game at the free throw line for the 104-93 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Warner finished with a game-high 21 points, going 8-for-20 from the field in the win.
- Albertus junior guard Jahmerikah Green-Younger (Norwalk, Conn.) ended with 18 points, going 8-for-8 from the line while Pittman and Perkins rounded out the Falcons in double-digits with 14 and 10, respectively.
- Both Riddick and Ruffen ended the night with 19 points each for the Saints while Tamburro added 17. Junior forward Marcus Fox (Danbury, Conn.) and Crisafulli were also in double-figures for Emmanuel with 15 and 11.
- Emmanuel finished the night with 24 turnovers and the Falcons scored 32 points off the EC miscues.
- The Falcons bench outscored the Emmanuel reserves by a 45-12 margin.
- Albertus Magnus returns to the GNAC Championship game for the eighth consecutive season.
- The Saints close out the year with 18 wins marking the second-highest single season total in program history.
- After a 3-22 record last year, Emmanuel improved by a total of 14.5 games which will rank in the top five among NCAA Division III programs during the 2018-19 campaign.
- Tamburro finishes his Emmanuel career with 1,123 points to rank seventh all-time.
- Riddick becomes the program's ninth 1,000 point scorer and will look to move up the all-time scoring leaders in his senior season.
- Albertus Magnus will host #7 University of Saint Joseph (CT) in the GNAC Championship game on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Jays defeated the Saint Joseph's College Monks by a 91-86 score to earn an appearance in the GNAC title game in their inaugural season.