Four Great Danes Net 14+ Points Each as UAlbany Menís Basketball Takes Down Marist 78-66
ALBANY, N.Y. – Paced by four Great Danes scoring at least 14 points, the UAlbany men’s basketball returned to the win column with a 78-66 home victory over Marist on Wednesday night.
After leading nearly the entire first half, UAlbany (5-4) kept a double-digit lead in the majority of the second period over Marist (4-6) for the win. The Great Danes netted 42 points in the paint and committed only nine turnovers as a team.
“This was a game that we needed; I thought we came out with energy and enthusiasm early and often,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “We need some balance, and I thought our guys did a good job of that tonight.”
Joe Cremo had a career night, tying a season-high 24 points and adding seven assists and six rebounds. He did not have a turnover on the night.
“We said we had to get back on track tonight,” said Cremo. “We just need to keep trusting each other and having each other’s backs. We keep getting better every day.”
With tonight’s win, UAlbany has improved to 2-0 against MAAC opponents, 3-0 against New York-based teams and 3-1 at home.
Dallas Ennema finished with 16 points, six rebounds and two blocks off the bench. Marqueese Grayson tallied five steals with 14 points, five rebounds and two assists while Mike Rowley notched 14 points and seven rebounds.
For Marist, Ryan Funk was 6-for-11 from three with 18 points and four rebounds with Brian Parker having 15 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Both sides tried to establish their perimeter shooting early, with both sending several shots out from beyond the arc. A three-pointer by Grayson was the only basket in the only five minutes.
Ennema started to lead the UAlbany offense, hitting five points in a row for UAlbany to counter Marist threes. UAlbany switched tactics and went for the paint, making the next three baskets plus a free throw to build a 15-6 advantage with 8:30 remaining in the 1st.
Parker hit Marist’s next three field goals, all layups on drives, to pull the Red Foxes within four. UAlbany rebuilt the lead with two Rowley free throws and a Cremo drive down the lane for a layup to make the lead 22-14 UAlbany.
Again Marist came closer with layups, and again UAlbany rebuilt its advantage with a Rowley turnaround hook shot then an Ennema deep three. The two combined again with a behind-the-back pass from Ennema to Rowley for a layup, then Rowley added another free throw to complete the 8-0 run. A three-pointer by Funk in the final seconds made it 30-21 UAlbany at the half.
UAlbany’s guards found the basket to begin the second half. David Nichols, who missed most of the first with foul trouble, drove to the rim and scored, followed by two layups by Cremo for a 6-0 run. Grayson added a three following a Marist basket to make it 39-23 UAlbany a little more than two minutes elapsed into the second.
UAlbany continued to attack, forcing steals with the pressure zone and hustling down the court. The Great Danes got seven straight points, sparked by four from Cremo, to send the lead to 49-30 with 13 minutes left.
At the 10-minute mark, Marist started to find room along the baseline, as layups from three different guards led to the visitors pulling to within 10 at 58-48, leading to UAlbany calling a timeout with 7:13 left.
The two sides exchanged scoring back and forth, with each going to the hoop, but UAlbany held a strong advantage with three layups from Cremo. With 2:17 remaining, UAlbany scored six points in 37 seconds, capped by a steal and thunderous dunk by Grayson, making it 74-58.
A couple of Richie Mitchell threes brought Marist back to within 10 with under a minute to play, but UAlbany sealed the game with late free throws from Nichols. UAlbany took the victory 78-66.
UAlbany heads across New York for its next two games, starting with a Saturday matinee on December 10th at Colgate at 2 p.m.