Men’s Basketball Suffers 68-38 Loss at Vermont
BURLINGTON, VT.- An 18-2 second half run by Vermont (8-8, 2-0 AE) proved too much to overcome for UAlbany (8-8, 2-1 AE) on Saturday night in Burlington, and the Great Danes fell 68-38.
The Purple & Gold dropped its first game in league play after winning five straight since last year’s America East Tournament.
The game was close for much of the first half. Vermont’s Luke Apfeld picked up his second foul just after nailing a three at the 15:01 mark. The Great Danes looked to take advantage, as Gary Johnson scored two-straight baskets in Apfeld’s absence to give UAlbany a 10-8 lead.
UAlbany found some foul trouble of its own, as Sam Rowley picked up his second foul at the 12:21 mark. Both teams went scoreless for two minutes from the 14:10-11:40 mark in the first half. Johnson broke UAlbany’s field goal drought after five and a half minutes at the 8:45 mark.
The teams went back-and-forth with three straight threes on the next several possessions. Peter Hooley hit his first three of the game with eight minutes left in the first half to close Vermont’s lead, 20-17.
Johnson took an offensive foul with six minutes left in the half to help keep Vermont off the scoreboard for four minutes. The senior closed the first half leading all scorers with nine points. He also had three boards.
UAlbany couldn’t find the bottom of the net for the last 4:30 of the first half, as Vermont went on a 12-2 run going into the break. The Catamounts led 32-21 after 20 minutes.
The Catamounts controlled the second half from the outset, hitting a three just 20 seconds in. Before the first media timeout of the second half, UAlbany had committed three turnovers and went 1-for-4 from the field. Sam Rowley also picked up his third foul going after an offensive board with 15:53 left.
By the time Head Coach Will Brown called timeout with 13:21 left to play, Vermont had an 18-point lead and UAlbany hadn’t scored a field goal in five minutes. The Great Danes had only scored five points in the second period with 8:14 left in the second half.
Vermont held a 34-16 advantage over UAlbany in points in the paint. The Catamounts shot 54.2% (13-24) from the field in the second half while UAlbany shot just 25% (6-24). UAlbany also committed five turnovers in the opening six minutes of the second half, and made just one field goal in that time.
Johnson led UAlbany with nine points and five boards. DJ Evans also had five rebounds.
The Great Danes (8-8, 2-1 AE) will look to rebound at UMass Lowell (3-11, 2-1 AE) on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7:00 p.m.