Men's Basketball Uses Second-Half Surge To Down South Carolina State, 70-61
ALBANY, N.Y. - The superhero duo of Mike Black (Batman) and Jacob Iati (Robin) strikes again, scoring 31 of the team's 44 second half points en route to a UAlbany win over South Carolina State, 70-61, on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at the SEFCU Arena. The Great Danes have now won six in a row and continue to improve on their best start of the season in Division I, going 9-2 through the first 11 games.
"It's a good win for our guys and we are sitting at 9-2 right now," said Coach Brown on the Great Danes sixth consecutive win. "It is good to learn from a win and we just have to continue to get better."
With UAlbany (9-2) down five, 31-26, at the half to South Carolina State (4-6), the Great Danes were looking to find a spark going into the second half. Both Iati and Black combined for just eight points on 2-of-6 shooting from the floor. UAlbany trailed the entire first half, even after playing an entire 40 minutes against South Carolina State earlier on in the season and never giving up a lead.
Then something clicked between the duo, eight straight points between the two of them gave the Great Danes their first lead of the game, 34-33, with 18:13 remaining.
However, the Bulldogs came back with a 10-5 run to put their lead back up to four, 43-39, with 15:20 remaining. Adama Adams led the charge with six of the team's 10 points during the stretch.
UAlbany came fighting back with an 11-2 run in a five minute span to grab a five-point lead, 50-45, and never relinquish its lead for the final 10 minutes. Redshirt freshman guard Peter Hooley led the Great Dane run with a key three and two of his seven made free throws.
The Great Danes extended their lead to as much as 10 points, 63-53, with a Black steal and breakaway layup which eventually was the game-winning bucket.
Iati finished with a game-high 21 points, shooting 7-of-13 from behind the arc. Black complimented with a stat-sheet stuffer of 18 points, four assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Hooley scored a season-best 12 points on just 2-of-5 shooting but tallied seven-of-eight from the free throw line.
The Great Danes and Bulldogs had a first-half dog fight, with the Bulldogs tallying a five-point advantage, 31-26, at the end of the half. South Carolina State's Matthew Hezekiah led all scorers at the half with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor.
South Carolina State, who did not lead once in the earlier contest this season, held the lead for all 20 minutes of the first half. The Bulldogs had its highest lead of six twice during the half.
UAlbany takes a six-game winning streak into finals week and will have nine days off before its next contest. The Great Danes will then face off against Quinnipiac on Friday, Dec. 21 at the SEFCU Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.