MBK: Lasell to face Albertus Magnus in post-season for fifth straight year in GNAC Semifinal

MBK: Lasell to face Albertus Magnus in post-season for fifth straight year in GNAC Semifinal

NEWTON, Mass. – It will be a familiar post-season foe on Thursday evening, February 27, when the sixth-seeded Lasell University men's basketball team squares off against second-seeded Albertus Magnus College in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) semifinal game at 7 p.m. at the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center in New Haven, Conn.

The teams arrive at the meeting following quarterfinal victories on Tuesday evening. Lasell advanced with a 98-77 thrashing of third-seeded Emmanuel College while Albertus Magnus moved along with an 82-79 triumph over seventh-seeded Suffolk University.

Thursday's match-up will also be a rematch of the regular season affair on February 12, when Albertus Magnus held on for a 105-97 home victory over the Lasers. Sophomore EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) led all scorers in the high-scoring affair with 38 points for the Lasers, while junior Kevin Nunez (Dorchester, Mass.) added 25 points and classmate Kevin Vanderhorst (Lawrence, Mass.) posted his 13th double-double of the season with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Senior Jahmerikah Green-Younger (Norwalk, Conn.) led the Falcons, tallying his 1,000th-career point and matching his career-high with 32 points. Tyreek Perkins (Norwalk, Conn.) added 17 points and eight rebounds.

This will be the fifth consecutive season the two programs have met in the post-season, with the Falcons coming out of top in the previous four. Albertus has won nine consecutive games in the series between the two schools since the Lasers swept two regular season games in 2015-16.

Third-seeded Albertus upset the second-seeded Lasers 87-80 in the 2016 semifinal at Lasell. The teams met in the championship game in 2017 in New Haven, with the top-seeded Falcons pulling away to a 101-83 victory over the third-seeded Lasers. It was a semifinal clash again in 2018 with top-seeded Albertus Magnus taking a 97-86 victory on home court over the fourth-seeded Lasers, and the top-seeded Falcons eliminated eighth-seeded Lasell in a quarterfinal game last season, 99-79.

Day leads the Lasers in scoring since becoming eligible after at the mid-season break, averaging 24.3 points per game, including 25.2 in the 11 GNAC contests, second-best in the league. Vanderhorst contributes 16.0 points and a GNAC second-best 10.5 rebounds per contest, registering 15 double-doubles on the campaign. Nunez averages 16.0 points per game, and junior Jonathan Friberg (North Attleboro, Mass.) chips in with 11.0 points and 7.4 boards an outing.

Top-seeded University of Saint Joseph (Connecticut) hosts fourth-seeded Anna Maria College in Thursday's other GNAC semifinal, with the championship game slated for Saturday, February 29, at the site of the highest remaining seed. The GNAC champion receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.

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