Men's Basketball Guts Out Win At Niagara, 79-74
Score: UAlbany 79, Niagara 74
Location: Gallagher Center in Niagara, N.Y.
Records: UAlbany (5-10); Niagara (7-6)
Short Story: UAlbany starts hot but sees Niagara come back to take the lead before ultimately rallying to defeat the Purple Eagles 79-74 in the final non-conference game of the regular season.
Coach Brown: “I thought we showed a lot of resolve tonight, especially with that distraction with the score clock and the delay to start the second half. I thought when we got down five late in the second half our guys did a tremendous job of sticking together and staying the course. While we weren’t scoring we were working on getting stops and finishing possessions by getting rebounds. I thought Brent Hank was outstanding for us today, especially rebounding the basketball. I thought when we were able to set our defense in the half court we did a really good job. Our issue was that we really struggled with our transition defense and that hurt us in the second half, as well as Prochet, being the really good player that he is, knocked down some shots early to give them some momentum. I think overall this was a toughness win, and I thought down the stretch we really played with tremendous toughness.”
- UAlbany hit six of its first seven shots
- UAlbany opened the game on a 16-0 run
- Cameron Healy scored eight of UAlbany’s first 16 points
- Niagara shot 0-8 to start the game
- Brent Hank grabbed 11 rebounds in the first half
- Four Great Danes and four Purple Eagles scored in double-figures
- Ahmad Clark recorded his first career double-double
- Clark's 10 assists tie a program record for a single game
Wrapping up a five-day road trip to end the 2018 calendar year and the 2018-19 non-conference schedule, the University at Albany men’s basketball team tipped off against Niagara on New Year’s Eve in the Danes’ final game before conference play begins. Against the Purple Eagles, the Great Danes came away victorious, 79-74, after a roller-coaster game.
UAlbany started the game on a 16-0 run while Niagara missed its first eight shots from the floor. The Purple Eagles finally scored with 14:21 left in the first half. After hitting six of their first seven shots, UAlbany missed their next six.
Niagara scored four in a row before Cameron Healy, who had scored eight of UAlbany’s first 16 points, hit a three to put UAlbany up 19-4 with 12:43 left in the first. He had already scored in double-figures.
Adam Lulka put UAlbany back up by 16 with a layup with 9:34 left in the first half. After Niagara drew a foul on their next possession, Brent Hank grabbed the rebound off the missed attempt, already his 10th of the game.
With 7:05 remaining in the first, Niagara hit its first three-pointer of the game, having missed its first four attempts from behind the arc, to cut the game to 29-16. Ahmad Clark responded on the other end two points, before Philip Flory scored his first points as a Great Dane with a three on UAlbany’s following possession to put the Danes up 34-16.
With 1:33 left in the first, Niagara cut the game to 10 points. Devonte Campbell, on the ensuing possession, successfully converted a layup and-one to put UAlbany back up 13.
UAlbany went into halftime leading 42-31 after leading by as many as 18. Healy finished the half with 14 points, while Hank pulled down a career-best 11 rebounds. Niagara shot just 8-25 from the floor and 3-10 from three, but hit 12-15 free throws to keep within striking distance.
The start of the second half was delayed due to a clock malfunction. On UAlbany’s offensive end, neither the game clock nor the shot clock would display properly, and the second half was played with the PA announcer calling out the time remaining on the shot clock.
Niagara started the half on a 6-0 run, hitting two quick threes, to cut the lead to 42-37. Healy responded with his career-high fifth three of the game to put UAlbany back up eight.
With 18:06 left in the second, Niagara had cut the UAlbany lead to three with an 11-3 run to open the half. An empty UAlbany possession after a timeout led to two free throws for Niagara on the other end, bringing the game within just one point.
Clark hit a three in the corner to put UAlbany up 48-44. Niagara responded with a three on their next possession. Where Niagara shot 0-8 to start the first half, the Purple Eagles bounced back to shoot 6-8 to start the second.
Niagara tied the game at 51 with 14:05 left in the second. UAlbany responded with a quick 4-0 run to go up 55-51.
The Purple Eagles tied the game at 61 with a fast break layup and one with 9:12 left in the second. Antonio Rizzuto hit a corner three on UAlbany’s next possession to put UAlbany up 64-61.
Niagara took its first lead of the game, 67-66, with 6:21 left in the second. Two minutes later, they led by five as part of a 10-2 scoring run. UAlbany responded with four straight points to cut the lead to one.
Healy hit a deep three to put UAlbany up two, 75-73, with just over a minute left to cap off a 9-2 run. Later, Clark hit a layup to put UAlbany up three with 28 seconds left. After Niagara missed a three, Campbell sealed the game with two free throws. UAlbany win 79-75.
Healy led all scorers with 20 points. Four Great Danes scored in double figures. Clark recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists. Hank finished with 14 rebounds. Niagara outscored UAlbany 40-17 off the bench.
Next: The Great Danes open the America East schedule at SEFCU Arena on January 5 against preseason conference favorite Vermont.