Men's Basketball Stays Perfect At Home, Defeating St. Francis, 77-73

Box Score

ALBANY, N.Y. - Shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe, including two clutch free throws in the finals seconds of the contest, senior guard Jacob Iati helped UAlbany defeat St. Francis (Brooklyn), 77-73, on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at the SEFCU Arena. Iati scored 20 points, tallying four three-pointers to extend his streak of at least one three in a game to 17 contests.

"The difference in tonight's game was, how hard we played and making free throws down the stretch also helped," said Iati on the Great Danes fourth consecutive win.

Senior guard Mike Black paced the Great Danes with a game-high 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting and five rebounds. Senior center Blake Metcalf grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds, two shy of his career-high 15, along with six points and three assists. As a team, UAlbany had the advantage in rebounds, 37-27 and shot 74.1 percent (20-27) from the free-throw line.

St. Francis' Travis Nichols had a team-best 21 points and six rebounds for the game. Ben Mockford scored all 18 of his points from behind the arc, shooting 6-of-12 from three-point land. The Terriers had a game-best 2-to-1 assists to turnover ratio (16:8) and seven steals.

UAlbany (7-2) began the game on an eye-popping 18-0 run with 10:32 remaining in the game. The Great Danes defense held the Terriers to zero points through their first 13 shots. Two consecutive threes during the stretch by junior guard DJ Evans helped catapult the Danes to the early lead.

St. Francis (2-4), however, woke up from its deep slumber and went on its own 22-7 run to cut the deficit to three, 25-22, with 4:37 remaining in the first half. The Terriers' Nichols scored 13 of his team-high 21 points to put St. Francis within three.

Black hit two of his four three-pointers to spark a 10-4 run to end the half and gave the Great Danes a nine-point lead, 35-26.

The Terriers shook off their first half 31.3 percent shooting (10-32) from the floor and began the second on a 13-3 run to grab their first lead of game, 39-38, with 16:29 remaining in the game. Akeem Johnson led the Terriers with six points during the run.

Just seconds after the Terriers grabbed its first lead, Iati hit a three at the top of the key to put the Danes back up by two, 41-39, with 16:20 left. UAlbany did not look back from that point on, extending its lead to as much as 11 during the final 16 minutes of the game.

A deep three-pointer by Mockford got the Terriers to as close as one, 70-69, with 33 seconds remaining. However, the Great Danes shot 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, in the final seconds, to lock up their seventh win of the season.

"This is a resisilent group and it is much easier to learn from a win than from a loss," said head coach Will Brown about his 7-2 squad. "I have said it all along, we have a ways to go, 7-2 is a great, but the good thing about this group is we have a lot of areas that we can improve to take the next step.

UAlbany goes for its fifth straight win on Saturday, Dec. 8 against Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.