Men's Basketball's Comeback Attempt vs. Maine Falls Short
Score: Maine 66, UAlbany 62
Location: SEFCU Arena in Albany, N.Y.
Records: UAlbany (5-12, 0-2 AE); Maine (3-15, 1-2 AE)
Short Story: UAlbany’s comeback attempt falls just short against Maine, falling 66-62.
Coach Brown: “I thought Maine played really well. I thought they shot the ball really well. When we were preparing for them our focus was on taking away their interior game. We did a good job on Fleming and Eze, making them beat us over the top. But they came into the game shooting 28% from three and they made eight in the first half. Their zone got us on our heels early on. They had not played much zone of late, and I thought they did a good job with the zone early. We needed to do a better job of attacking the interior. I thought the first four minutes of the second half our defensive energy was great. We got a bunch of stops but didn’t turn it into points. And then the last eight minutes of the game we finally played with a sense of urgency. We have to continue to work and continue to get better.”
- Ahmad Clark scored nine of UAlbany’s first 14 points
- Maine hit eight three-pointers in the first half, one more than their full-game season average
- UAlbany missed seven of their first 10 free throws
- UAlbany hit its last five straight shots from the floor
- Maine did not hit a shot for the final 4:04 of the game
Hosting its second-straight home game to start the conference schedule, the University at Albany men’s basketball team fell to the Maine Black Bears 66-62 to start the conference season 0-2. UAlbany trailed by as many as 16 before a furious comeback attempt late in the second half fell just short.
UAlbany scored the first basket of the game, and Maine responded by scoring the next five. Trailing by three, Rayshawn Miller hit a corner three in his first possession off the bench to tie the game at five early.
With 14:28 to go in the first, Ahmad Clark hit his second straight three-pointer to put UAlbany up 11-7. The Great Danes had held Maine scoreless on the previous possession where the Black Bears took four shots.
Clark hit his third three-pointer of the game with 12:07 left, and had accounted for nine of UAlbany’s first 14 points. Maine next tied the game at 14 with a quick layup on the next possession.
Maine took a 19-14 lead on a 7-0 run with 10:30 left in the first half. The Black Bears had made four straight shots and took advantage of three Great Danes turnovers in the previous 90 seconds. Maine’s run extended to 11-0 before Cameron Healy hit a three with 7:29 left.
The Black Bears took a 10-point lead with 2:51 left in the first half on their seventh three-pointer, one more than they average for the season. Maine entered halftime leading by the same margin, 38-28.
Clark led all scorers with 11 points in the first half. Two Black Bears, Isaiah White and Sergio El Darwich, scored 10 each. Maine had outscored UAlbany 9-1 off of turnovers.
UAlbany forced Maine into two shot clock violations in their first three possessions of the second half. After the Danes cut the game to eight, Maine went on a 7-0 run in less than one minute to go up 45-31.
UAlbany went scoreless for more than five minutes in the middle of the second half before Devonte Campbell hit a layup to cut Maine’s lead to 49-36. Maine’s Isaiah White broke Maine’s own 2:25 scoreless streak by hitting one of two free throws to put Maine up 50-36.
Healy hit a three on the ensuing possession to cut the lead to 11. Maine soon went up by 13, after which neither team scored for four minutes. Clark broke the overall scoreless streak with two free throws with 7:28 remaining, cutting Maine’s lead to 11.
Clark cut the lead to single digits with two free throws with 5:30 remaining, and further to seven with a pull-up jumper in the paint after an empty Maine possession. Maine responded with a three to go up 10 with 4:30 to go.
The Black Bears extended their lead as far as 16 before UAlbany closed within 11 with 1:35 left in the game. Five quick points as part of a greater 11-0 run put UAlbany down six with just over a minute remaining. Devonte Campbell next forced a Maine turnover and drew a foul in the process. Campbell hit one of two to cut Maine’s lead to five.
After Maine hit two free throws to go up 66-59, Healy hit a three from the top of the arc with 18 seconds left. It was UAlbany’s fifth consecutive made field goal. Maine came up empty on their next possession but UAlbany turned the ball over to end the game 66-62. It was the Black Bears’ first road win of the season.
Clark led UAlbany with 22 points and four assists, and shared the team’s rebounding lead with Kendall Lauderdale with five apiece. UAlbany bounced back at the free throw line in the second half, shooting 10-16. Maine cooled off from behind the arc, shooting 4-10 in the second, but finished with double their season average.
Next: The Great Danes begin their first conference road trip next week when they visit UMass Lowell on Wednesday, January 16, and defending America East champion UMBC on Saturday, January 19.