Stireís Double-Double Not Enough as UAlbany Menís Basketball Edged in Nailbiter at Yale 59-55
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The UAlbany men’s basketball team pulled to within one late and had possession in the final 18 seconds but could not go ahead, narrowly falling at Yale 59-55 on Saturday afternoon.
UAlbany (4-4) was down six with five minutes to go at reigning Ivy League champion Yale (3-4), getting to within one point numerous times in the final minute, but could not go ahead.
“It was a good, solid basketball game against a well-coached team,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “You had two teams that mirrored each other, and our guys did a good job to get in position to win down the stretch.”
UAlbany scored 32 points in the paint to Yale’s 18, but was edged in three-point shots 11-2. As a team, UAlbany shot 44% from the field and 90% from the free throw line.
Greig Stire finished with his second double-double of the season, picking up 13 points, off 5-6 shooting and 3-3 from the charity stripe, and a game-best 10 rebounds. David Nichols led UAlbany in scoring with 14 points and assists with five.
For Yale, each Anthony Dallier and Alex Copeland each tallied 15 points, with the former adding five assists and four rebounds.
Stire led the offense in the opening possessions, backing into the paint for the first two baskets, then kicking out to Marqueese Grayson for the corner three for a 7-0 UAlbany advantage two minutes in.
Yale countered with a couple of three-point plays, then took the lead off a Sam Downey layup. The two sides kept exchanging the lead, with Grayson hitting his second three-pointer on a kick-out to push UAlbany back ahead. The defense held Yale without a field goal for over seven minutes, adding to the lead primarily with Travis Charles hitting three baskets, including a spin move and layup, to go up 22-11 with 8:16 left in the 1st.
UAlbany continued to defend against Yale shooting threes with its man-to-man defense. With a couple of Anthony Dallier threes, Yale got to within a possession at 26-23 with under two minutes in the 1st.
UAlbany’s guards attacked the basket on its final couple of possessions, seeing Grayson get fouled and hit two free throws, then Nichols hit a layup down the baseline at the first half buzzer for a 30-23 advantage at the break.
The home team continued its three-point shooting, hitting a trio to pull to a tie in the opening three minutes of the half at 34-34. UAlbany countered with scores on four straight possessions, including a steal and score from Nichols and four points from Mike Rowley, to go back up 42-34 with 13:45 left in the 2nd.
Yale continued to pick-and-pop as UAlbany kept defending, but could not build the lead. Copeland hit a pair of threes off screens to tie the game at 44-44, then took the lead on a pair of one-hand floaters plus a couple of other baskets for a 50-44 Yale lead with 5:34 left.
UAlbany stopped Yale’s run with a layup and one by Stire. Back and forth the teams traded points with the Great Danes continuing to get within one point, including on a steal and score by Nichols with 1:47 left. The sides traded again, and UAlbany held on defense with Joe Cremo pulling down a rebound to give UAlbany possession down 56-55 with 18 seconds left.
UAlbany called a timeout, and Cremo got the ball as was fouled for a one-and-one. His first attempt rimmed out, with Yale getting the rebound. Yale sealed the game with free throws to take the victory 59-55.
UAlbany returns home for its next game, hosting in-state opponent Marist at the SEFCU Arena on Wednesday, December 7th at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through the UAlbany ticket office at ualbanysports.com/tickets and 518-442-DANE.