David Nichols Ties Program Single Game Record with 40 Points as UAlbany Men's Basketball Defeats Hartford 100-71 in AE Quarterfinal Round
ALBANY, N.Y. – The UAlbany men’s basketball team set numerous records on Wednesday night, highlighted by David Nichols tying a program single game record 40 points, as it defeated Hartford 100-71 to advance to the America East Tournament semifinals.
UAlbany (20-12) shot 61.4% from the field, earning its first 100-point game since Feb. 14, 2016. In addition, it is the first time since 2001 that a team has scored 100 points in an America East Tournament game. UAlbany also was 52% from three-point range and outrebounded Hartford (9-23) 37-26.
“I thought it was important that we came out with a lot of energy early,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “Our guys have been focused the last few days, and we’ve been talking about the conference tournament since we had that slow start to the conference season.”
With the win, 3-seed UAlbany moves on to the America East Tournament semifinal round. UAlbany will tip off against 2-seed Stony Brook on Long Island on Monday, March 6th at 7:30 p.m. The winner of that contest takes on the victor of 1-seed Vermont and 4-seed New Hampshire.
As a team, UAlbany earns its third 20+ win season in the last four years and fourth in the last six.
Nichols’ 40 points ties the UAlbany single game program record with Gary Holway, who had the same total against Utica on Feb. 27, 1957. It surpasses the former UAlbany DI record of Jamar Wilson, who netted 39 points at New Hampshire on Feb. 16, 2003. His eight three-point field goals is second all-time in UAlbany history while 14 field goals made ties for fifth.
“We knew we had to be aggressive given all the different defenses they play,” said Nichols. “The game plan was to just attack and not be passive.”
“David got us going early, and then the crowd I thought fed off David’s scoring,” said Brown. “Tonight, our crowd was outstanding, our guys felt a true home court advantage tonight.”
Nichols added four assists to his 40 points while Cremo notched a double-double on 14 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Greig Stire almost had a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
For Hartford, Jalen Ross concluded with 22 points and six rebounds while Jason Dunne got 20 points and four assists.
Nichols got the crowd going with a block underneath the basket on Hartford’s first possession, leading to a Stire putback. Nichols followed with three consecutive three-point baskets, then rebounded a missed shot, raced down the floor, missed a shot but Stire came from behind and slammed home the basketball.
Next possession, Nichols added his fourth straight three, followed by Joe Cremo hitting a baseline drive. UAlbany continued to attack, forcing a shot clock violation then Devonte Campbell hitting a layup, then a Hartford traveling leading to a floater by Nichols as UAlbany started up 22-4 in the opening six minutes.
After Hartford hit a jumper and one, UAlbany held off Hartford on the board for another three-and-a-half minutes. Some free throws, a Mike Rowley layup and a Costa Anderson long three made it 33-7. UAlbany later led 35-8 with 8:54 to play in the 1st.
Going to mid-range jumpers, Hartford started to hit baskets. UAlbany kept its lead strong as an 8-2 streak, capped by two more Nichols baskets, pushed UAlbany up 45-17. A couple of later Dallas Ennema baskets helped UAlbany lead 51-25 at the half.
UAlbany continued its hot shooting behind Nichols. Nichols had a pair of threes, as well as Stire hitting a layup and one, as UAlbany began the half with a 9-2 sprint for a 60-29 lead two minutes into the second.
The two sides started to trade as Nichols added his eighth three-point field goal, building UAlbany’s advantage to 34 at 70-36 with 13:38 left.
UAlbany continued to find success beyond the perimeter, with Devonte Campbell and Cremo adding more. Nichols tied the UAlbany single game record with 4:23 left with a layup, making it 88-53 UAlbany.
UAlbany’s reserves helped finish the game as an Ennema three put UAlbany on the century mark. UAlbany would finish with the 100-71 victory.
Stony Brook advanced to the America East semifinal round with an 70-60 victory vs. Binghamton tonight.