Men's Basketball Falls to LIU Brooklyn in Belfast
Score: LIU Brooklyn 80, UAlbany 77
Location: SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Records: UAlbany (2-5); LIU Brooklyn (4-3)
Short Story: After finishing the first half strong, the UAlbany men’s basketball team fell in a heartbreaker late to LIU Brooklyn 80-77 in their Samson Bracket semifinal game in the Belfast Classic.
Coach Brown: “I thought we played sloppy for 40 minutes. I thought LIU’s pressure, even though we were up at the half, bothered us the entire game. I think we had too many self-inflicted mistakes. LIU is talented enough where you can’t hurt yourself as a team. I thought we put ourselves in a bad spot too many times. Give LIU credit, and you just hope we learn from it.”
- Ahmad Clark scored 10 of UAlbany’s first 14 points, ending the first half with 13
- The Great Danes and Blackbirds combined to miss just three of 24 free throws in the first half
- UAlbany ended the first half on a 16-5 run
- Adam Lulka recorded his first career double-double
- LIU Brooklyn shot 9-13 from three in the second half
- Three Great Danes and four Blackbirds scored in double figures
- LIU Brooklyn scored 26 points off of 26 UAlbany turnovers
The University at Albany men’s basketball team fell late against LIU Brooklyn in the second semifinal game of the Samson Bracket in the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic Thursday night. It was the first of two games in Belfast for UAlbany, who returns to the court tomorrow night in their second set of back-to-back games in two weeks.
For much of the first half, neither team seemed to find a rhythm. After winning the opening tip, UAlbany missed its first shot. Following the miss, LIU Brooklyn committed a turnover, and then UAlbany committed a turnover. After more than 1:15 of game time, the Blackbirds broke the scoreless tie with a layup. Immediately afterwards, Ahmad Clark hit a three in response to put UAlbany up one early.
The Blackbirds hit a three on the ensuing possession to take a 5-3 lead, preceding nearly three minutes of scoreless play before Brent Hank tied the game at five with 15:59 to play in the first. For much of the rest of the half, neither team could pull away by more than two points, trading baskets for nearly the next 10 minutes of game time.
With 6:14 left in the first, Cameron Healy hit two free throws to put UAlbany up by four, 22-18. It was the first time in the game that either team led by more than two points.
During this stretch, UAlbany went 6:51 of game time without hitting a field goal, missing its last five and making just one of its last eight. LIU Brooklyn went through a similar drought, making one of its last eight shots from the floor as well.
With 3:23 left in the first, Kendall Lauderdale hit a layup to give UAlbany its largest lead to that point, five points, 25-20. After LIU Brooklyn came up empty on its next possession, Adam Lulka put UAlbany up by eight after banking home a straight-away three pointer. Lulka scored again on UAlbany’s next possession to put UAlbany up double-digits with two minutes remaining.
Clark extended the Great Danes’ run to 10-0. LIU Brooklyn had gone 3:37 without hitting a shot, shooting just one for its last 11 from the floor.
Neither team shot well from the floor in the first half, combining to shoot 15-57 overall and 2-25 from three. Despite this, the Great Danes and Blackbirds each shot well from the free-throw line, combining to shoot 21-24. UAlbany saw the most action at the line, taking 16 free throws in the half, 10 of which came from Clark.
Clark led all scorers in the first half with 13 points. Lulka added nine on 4-5 shooting for the Great Danes to go along with seven rebounds.
Where scoring came at a premium for most of the first half, the second half opened with 12 points combined for both teams in the first 100 seconds, and 25 before three minutes had elapsed. The Blackbirds hit their first seven shots, including all four three-point attempts, coming out of halftime, while UAlbany hit six of seven.
With 15:59 left in the second, LIU-Brooklyn cut the lead to two with a three-pointer. Clark hit a jumper to put UAlbany back up by four, before a fast-break layup from LIU Brooklyn. Healy next hit a three in transition to put UAlbany back up by five. By now, the Blackbirds had already matched their first-half scoring total.
UAlbany went on a 7-0 run, hitting four of five shots from the floor, to go up 60-51 with 11:28 remaining in the second half. LIU Brooklyn had cooled off, missing its last five shots and hitting just one of its last seven.
The Great Danes entered the bonus with 8:26 left in the second half, leading 63-58. UAlbany extended its lead to eight two times in the next two minutes before the Blackbirds made their final run.
A quick 6-0 run by the Blackbirds cut UAlbany’s lead to two with 5:15 remaining. The Blackbirds tied the game with two free throws with 4:27 left. LIU Brooklyn took its first lead since 11:17 remaining in the first half, going up 73-71 on their next possession, capping off a 10-0 run in progress, while scoring their 50th point of the second half.
Clark tied the game at 73 with a layup with 2:59 left. LIU Brooklyn went up by three after a layup and-one with 1:36 remaining.
UAlbany trailed by two with 11.5 seconds to go. A turnover on their in-bounds possession gave the ball back to the Blackbirds, who were awarded two free-throws after a UAlbany foul with 2.7 left. The Blackbirds hits one of two to go up 80-77, which would prove to be the final score.
Clark led UAlbany with 24 points, 11 of which came from the free-throw line. Healy scored 22 and Lulka scored 15. Lulka also recorded 13 rebounds, notching his first career double-double and just the second for a Great Dane this season. LIU Brooklyn recovered to shoot over 61% from the floor in the second half, including 9-13 from three, en route to 57 second-half points. The Blackbirds also took advantage of UAlbany’s 26 turnovers, scoring 26 points in response. The Blackbirds’ three-point advantage at the end of the game matched their largest lead of the night.
Next: UAlbany returns to SSE Arena tomorrow to play in the Samson Bracket consolation game against Dartmouth at 12:00 p.m. EST.