Bill Ziskin

Nichols, Cremo Combine for 54 in UAlbany Men's Basketball 86-82 Win vs. Columbia

UAlbany Sports Information   12-02-2017

Men’s Basketball Score: UAlbany 86, Columbia 82

Location: Albany, N.Y. – SEFCU Arena

Records: UAlbany (8-1), Columbia (1-6)

Short Story: The UAlbany men’s basketball team defended home court in an offensive shootout, winning 86-82 vs. Columbia on Saturday night for its eighth victory of the year.

Key Stats:

  • UAlbany: David Nichols notched a season-high 29 points and five steals, adding four assists. Nichols had the go-ahead three with 26 seconds left and the final two free throws to finish the game.  Joe Cremo earned 25 points plus five rebounds.  Nichols and Cremo combined to shoot 6-for-9 from three-point range and 12-for-12 from the free throw line.
  • Columbia: Mike Smith finished with 27 points, including five three-point field goals, with three assists. Jaron Faulds shot 8-for-10 for 17 points off the bench, adding two blocks.
  • For the ninth time in as many games, UAlbany outrebounded its opponent. UAlbany outrebounded Columbia 37-36.
  • UAlbany scored 57 points in the second period, the highest-scoring half in the program’s Division I history. Previously, the record was 56 points in the first half vs. Green Mountain in 2000.

Key Situations:

  • 10:31-5:45 1st half: UAlbany holds Columbia without points for almost five points, building its lead to eight, including a kickout three by Joe Cremo, to go up 21-13.
  • 20:00-14:00 2nd half: Started by 10 points from Mike Smith, Columbia got off to a 16-5 start in the period to lead 42-34.
  • 12:00-8:38 2nd half: UAlbany outscores Columbia 17-6, capped by a layup and one by Devonte Campbell, to take the lead 58-57.
  • 5:36-4:50 2nd half: Two Columbia three-point plays put the Lions up 72-66.
  • 2:52-0:48 2nd half: UAlbany takes the lead on a David Nichols three, but Columbia ties with a Smith three at 79-79.
  • 0:48-0:00 2nd half: UAlbany takes back the lead on a Nichols three with 26 seconds left. Twice Columbia gets back to within two points, with free throws from Cremo and Nichols sealing the game.

Quote: “All the credit to Columbia, they are good.  This was a good test for us, in the first half, our defense was good but our offense was sluggish.  I thought in the second half, our defense was not good, but the last five or six minutes, we settled down and were more efficient offensively, and had enough stops to win the game.” – UAlbany head coach Will Brown

Recap: David Nichols and Joe Cremo combined for 54 points as the UAlbany men’s basketball team won in an offensive shootout, taking the victory 86-82 over Columbia.

Early on, UAlbany focused on attacking the basket while Columbia looked to jump shots.  An early 6-0 run in three possessions, including two Travis Charles turnaround baskets and a steal and score from Joe Cremo gave UAlbany an 8-4 lead.  Columbia got back the lead with five straight points as the teams started to exchange baskets.  David Nichols scored three consecutive baskets, including a swipe and score, to push UAlbany up 16-11 halfway through the first as the defense held off the Lions for four minutes.

The UAlbany defense held Columbia without points for another long span, almost five minutes, adding five points, including a Cremo three, to build an eight-point lead at 21-13 with six minutes left in the 1st.

Columbia used a couple of perimeter shots to pull to a tie at 23-23 by the final media timeout of the first half.  UAlbany’s guard duo of Cremo and Nichols again spurred on a 6-0 run for the Great Danes.  A buzzer beater three by Lukas Meisner made it 29-26 UAlbany at the break.

With Mike Smith scoring the first 10 Columbia points of the half, the Lions got off to a 16-5 beginning in the half’s first five minutes to go up 42-34.  Columbia later got that lead to 10 off a deep three-pointer by Gabe Stefanini.

Using the free throw line and a couple of baskets from Nichols, UAlbany fought back to within a possession.  Smith scores another three to make it 57-51 Columbia with less than 10 minutes left.

Devonte Campbell led the attack underneath for UAlbany, putting five points in a 7-0 run, including a layup and one, to give UAlbany a 58-57 lead with 8:38 left.

The exchanges continued, as UAlbany tied the game with 5:36 left.  Columbia notched a couple of three-point plays to rebuild a six-point lead at 72-66.

UAlbany again pulled to a tie as Cremo buried a three, then a minute late, Campbell hit a layup and one.  Jason Faulds netted a layup the other way to get the Lions ahead at 74-72.  Nichols buried a three, followed by a Charles floater for a three-point lead.  The team went back and forth as Smith hit a three with 48 seconds left for a 79-79 score.

Next play, Nichols received the pass from Campbell and swished the perimeter shot.  The other way, Smith hit the first free throw, the second being rebounded by Campbell.  Cremo got fouled and hit two for a two-possession lead.  After Faulds hit a layup with 10 seconds left, Nichols sealed it with two more free throws.  Smith missed a three with two seconds left as Cremo rebounded, ending the game with an 86-82 UAlbany victory.

UAlbany now gets ready for the Gotham Classic, hosting Bryant at the SEFCU Arena on Wednesday, December 6th at 7 p.m.

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