PAXTON, Mass – Tuesday night the GNAC leading Albertus Magnus Falcons came to town to take on the AMCATS. Though the 'Cats put up a fight in the second half, the Falcons headed back to New Haven with the 87-76 win.
Anna Maria was led by sophomore forward Mike Rapoza (Charlton, Mass) who scored 19 points on the night and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the yea. Rapoza shot eight-for-11 from the field and also dished out eight assists. Joining the double-double club for AMC was senior forward Kenneth Graham (West Haven, Conn), with 14 points and 10 rebounds. It was Graham's second double-double of the season. Senior guard Liam Pickett (Oxford, Mass) joined the double-digit scoring club for the home team with 13 points of his own, adding six boards to his score line. Sophomore guard Bobby Perette (Marshfield, Mass) scored nine points on the evening. The AMCATS also called on their three-point sharp shooter, senior guard Tanner Jakola (Leominster, Mass), who scored from beyond the arch three times to add nine points to the 'Cats tally.
For the Falcons it was the Jaqhawn Walters (Hartford, Conn) show. The senior forward scored 42 points to lead all scorers, on 18-of-29 shooting, six of those made shots came from three-land. Walters pulled down 11 rebounds in the effort as well. Also scoring double-digit points for the visitors was sophomore guard Jahmerikah Green-Younger (Norwalk, Conn) and sophomore guard Hanif Bilal (Winston-Salem, N.C.) who each scored 11 on the evening, Bilal's coming off the bench.
Anna Maria would strike first in the game as Pickett scored a bucket one-minute in. Though the Falcons would answer quickly, the AMCATS did jump out to a 9-6 lead after three minutes had passed in the half. The teams would exchange baskets over the next few minutes with the 'Cats getting back out to a four-point lead with 13 minutes remaining in the half. That was again quickly erased by the Falcons which seemed to be the turning point for the visitors who would get out to a 12-point, 35-32, lead over the next eight minutes of play. The AMCATS didn't seem to be able to get any closer to their opponent who would continue to take advantage of missed shots eventually extending their lead out to 20-points as the game went to the half, 49-29.
At the start of the second half, the Falcons picked up where they left off, widening their lead to 26-points four minutes in to the period. At that point, Anna Maria picked it up on offense cutting the deficit back to 20, then 10 just six minutes later. When the clock struck eight minutes remaining the AMCATS had gone on a 21-6 run and the gap was down to five points. While things were looking good for the home side, Albertus took over the momentum and would push their lead back to 12 points with four minutes remaining. The AMCATS had fought back but, in those final four minutes their shots didn't seem to fall and they would go on to lose to the Falcons 87-76 when was said and done.
The AMCATS will be back in action on their home floor Thursday evening at 6pm as they take on Norwich University in Great Northeast Athletic Conference play.
To view the box score from Tuesday's game, Click Here.