Jefferson Lora (Bronx, N.Y.) scored 19 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Albertus Magnus men's basketball team to an 84-65 GNAC Tournament victory over Rivier on Tuesday night. The Falcons will now host Johnson & Wales (R.I.) on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Lora, who shot 7-of-11 from the floor, added one steal and four blocked shots in 21 minutes of work.
The Falcons are now 22-4 on the year, while Rivier finishes its season with a 10-16 overall record.
Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.) led all scorers with 20 points, while three Falcons added 12 points apiece. James Jennings (Stratford, Conn.), James Economopoulos (Wallingford, Conn.) and Marc Wilson (Jersey City, N.J.) each tallied 12 points to round out the five Falcons in double-figures.
The Falcons opened tonight's contest with an 8-2 run in the opening 3:30 before extending their lead into double-digits midway through the half. Led by a balanced offensive attack, the Falcons pushed their lead out to 19 points with 24 seconds left on the clock before intermission. Zach Dugas (Monroe, Conn.) hit two free-throws to give the Falcons a 40-21 advantage heading into the break.
Albertus shot 37.9% in the opening frame led by 10 points from both Lora and Watson.
Both teams shot well in the second half as the Falcons shot 54.8% from the field, a 17-of-31 clip, while Rivier shot 50%, including a stellar 5-of-7 from behind the arc.
After being outrebounded 21-13 in the opening half, the Falcons were edged on the boards 37-31 on the night. The Falcons' largest lead of the night came with 9:15 to go on the clock as they jumped out to a 27-point advantage.
With his 20-point effort, Watson now has 1,421 career points and is 16 points shy of Pat Good's (1991-93) career tally of 1,437, which puts the former Falcon in fourth place on the Albertus Magnus all-time scoring list.
The Falcons advance to the GNAC Tournament semifinal round for the fifth-straight year and will face JWU for the third time in the last five GNAC semifinal appearances.