UAlbany Men’s Basketball Holds Maine to Three First Half Field Goals in 74-56 Road Win, Securing Home Game in AE Quarters
BANGOR, Maine – The UAlbany men’s basketball team secured a home game in the upcoming America East Tournament quarterfinal round, using a dominating defensive first half to defeat Maine 74-56 on the road on Sunday afternoon.
UAlbany (18-11, 9-5 AE), which has won four straight games, held Maine (6-24, 2-13 AE) to three first half field goals and a total of 14 points, the best defensive half of the year for the Great Danes. UAlbany led by 25 at the half and did not trail the rest of the way.
“I was really excited about what we did and how we played in the first half,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “We came out of the locker room ready to play, but we found it hard to sustain in the second half.”
With the win, UAlbany has guaranteed itself a home game in the AE quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 1st. UAlbany will either be the 3-seed or 4-seed in the America East Tournament.
Devonte Campbell earned his second double-double in as many games played, finishing with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Joe Cremo also had a double-double on 10 points and 11 rebounds while David Nichols led all players with 20 points and four assists.
For Maine, Vincent Eze got a double-double off 10 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks while Austin Howard had 12 points and three assists.
UAlbany got space in close to begin on offense while the defense kept Maine outside the arc, holding the Black Bears scoreless in the opening 5:46. Nichols scored five straight points in a game-opening 9-0 run for the Great Danes.
UAlbany’s defense continued to stifle Maine, with Travis Charles forcing a pair of turnovers on Vincent Eze and the halfcourt trap leading to a pair of steals. The other way, a 10-0 run, including two layups from Campbell, made it 19-2 UAlbany.
Nichols and Campbell continued to lead the attack, combining for a 9-0 run to build the Great Danes advantage to 24. With Maine getting late points from Eze on free throws, UAlbany kept the lead strong, using a jumper and one from Nichols to have a 39-14 advantage at the break.
The home team came out of the locker room with a 4-0 run. Charles ended that chance with a jumper, then after an exchange of points, Greig Stire threw down the ball off a bounce pass from Cremo, then Nichols added a wing three to make it 47-20 just over four minutes into the 2nd.
Maine took shot after shot from three-point range, with three different players each hitting one to pull the Black Bears within 20. Dallas Ennema kept hitting shots to add to UAlbany lead, hitting a corner three to make it 58-34 Great Danes with 11 minutes left.
UAlbany’s defense held Maine without points for a span of 2:30, using five straight points from Cremo to get a 63-36 advantage with 8:33 left.
Maine started to climb back in with an 8-0 run, but a Costa Anderson wing three put the virtual dagger on the Black Bears. Marqueese Grayson, Terrel Martin-Garcia and Nick Fruscio helped end the game as UAlbany won 74-56.
UAlbany plays its final road game of the America East season, challenging first place Vermont on Wednesday, February 22nd at 7 p.m. in Burlington.