UAlbany Men's Basketball Knocks Off Defending MAAC Champion Iona 69-67
Men’s Basketball Score: UAlbany 69, Iona 67
Location: Albany, N.Y. – SEFCU Arena
Records: UAlbany (1-0), Iona (1-0)
Short Story: In a battle in the SEFCU Arena, the UAlbany men’s basketball team held off Iona in the final minutes to win its season opener 69-67.
- UAlbany: Greig Stire started the year with a double double on 15 points and 12 rebounds, adding two assists. David Nichols had a team-high 18 points, adding six rebounds while Travis Charles notched 12 points and eight boards.
- Iona: TK Edogi had an Iona-best 17 points and nine rebounds, with teammate Deyshonee Much scoring 15 points.
- UAlbany outrebounded Iona 47-27 in the game, holding its opponent to 18.2% three-point shooting.
- 15:28-12:10 1st half: UAlbany notches four layups, including two by Greig Stire, to build an 8-2 run and lead 12-8.
- 5:26-0:00 1st half: Started by a Matt Conway top of the arc three, UAlbany outscored Iona 13-2 in the final 5:26 of the half, with Conway having five points and Travis Charles going 4-for-4 from the line, to lead 34-23 at the half.
- 17:27-15:17 2nd half: Transition attacks by Iona lead to TK Edogi scoring four consecutive field goals from underneath plus a free throw. Zach Lewis added another basket to tie the game at 38-38, completing an 11-0 Iona run.
- 4:08-2:47 2nd half: David Nichols hit a three off the screen to give UAlbany the lead. Later, Joe Cremo added two free throws to give UAlbany a 59-55 advantage.
- 0:11-0:00 2nd half: Nichols hit four late free throws to keep UAlbany in the lead. Iona purposely missed a free throw with 1.7 seconds left; Stire grabbed the rebound to finish the game.
Quote: “I thought our guys did a great job executing the gameplan of controlling the tempo and making sure this did not become a track meet. Our bigs did a tremendous job defensively of the matchup advantage.” – UAlbany head coach Will Brown
“We wanted to beat them on the glass because they play smaller than us. In general, we’ve always been a good rebounding team, we preach that.” – UAlbany forward Greig Stire
Recap: In a matchup of two strong New York mid-major squads, UAlbany held off Iona in the final minutes with late free throws to take a season-opening 69-67 victory at the SEFCU Arena.
Iona took an early lead with a fast tempo as UAlbany tried to keep the pace down. Down two, UAlbany attacked the basket, seeing a couple of putback layups by Greig Stire and Alex Foster, leading to an 8-2 run for a 12-8 UAlbany advantage eight minutes in, later going up 15-10 after a kickout three by Joe Cremo.
UAlbany continued to go into the paint for its points; after Iona tied the game at 15, more layups by Foster and Stire rebuilt the home team advantage to four.
Back and forth the team went in the clash of styles. At 21-21, Matt Conway buried a three at the top of the arc to start a big UAlbany run. The UAlbany defense held against long range Iona shots as Travis Charles and David Nichols added to the run with layups, completing the streak at 9-0. After Iona broke the run, Conway and Stire hit late layups to give UAlbany a 34-23 lead at the break.
Minutes into the second half, Iona saw success in transition attacks, with TK Edogi hitting four baskets in a row from under the basket, plus a free throw, to pull the visitors within one possession. Zach Lewis added a layup to complete the 11-0 run and tie the game at 38-38.
Nichols ended Iona’s run with a three off the screen, then added a layup minutes later. Iona responded with a couple of threes as the teams went back and forth, with a layup and one by Stire giving UAlbany a 50-49 lead with 8:14 left.
The exchanges continued with Iona going in transition and attacking fast while UAlbany played a set offense. With four minutes left, Nichols hit a three off the screen to send UAlbany back ahead. Cremo added free throws as UAlbany led 59-55.
Iona forced UAlbany to go to the line to defend its one possession lead late, with UAlbany doing the same to avoid an Iona three-point shot. Nichols hit four free throws in the final 11 seconds as UAlbany led by three in the final seconds. Iona got fouled and hit a free throw, purposely missing the second. Stire pulled down the rebound as UAlbany took the win 69-67.
UAlbany heads east for its next game, playing at Boston University on Monday, November 13th at 7 p.m.