UAlbany Men's Basketball Wins vs. Defending MAC Champ Kent State
Men’s Basketball Score: UAlbany 78, Kent State 68
Location: Albany, N.Y. – SEFCU Arena
Records: UAlbany (12-3), Kent State (6-7)
Short Story: The UAlbany men’s basketball team finished the 2017 year with a 78-68 victory over reigning MAC Tournament champion Kent State on Thursday night.
- UAlbany: Three players nearly earned double-doubles for UAlbany, led by Travis Charles with 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Joe Cremo notched 14 points and nine assists, the latter being one-shy of the single game program record, while Alex Foster had eight points and nine rebounds.
- Kent State: Jaylin Walker led all players with 20 points, adding six boards and three assists. Adonis De La Rosa had 18 points and eight rebounds.
- UAlbany earned assists on 20 of 23 made field goals.
- This is the first game this season where UAlbany did not outrebound its opponent, having 32 boards to Kent State’s 35.
- UAlbany picked up its 12th victory; it is the most amount of victories before America East play in program history. UAlbany had 11 wins before America East play in 2015-16 and 2012-13.
- 20:00-17:00 1st half: Including three steal and scores, Kent State began the game with an 8-3 advantage.
- 8:47-7:50 1st half: UAlbany scores on three straight possessions for a 7-0 run, started by an Ahmad Clark three, to push ahead 21-15.
- 16:54-12:28 2nd half: UAlbany takes the lead for good off a 13-3 run, including five straight points from Devonte Campbell, to go up 46-37.
- 12:13-8:34 2nd half: Clark had five points, while Travis Charles had four, in an 11-2 sprint to give UAlbany a 57-43 lead.
Quote: “It is a good win against a good Kent State team coming off a Pac-12 win. The first half was a feeling-out process, but we are getting better, our defense was pretty good tonight. I am excited that we are 12-3, and I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface yet.” – UAlbany head coach Will Brown
Recap: The UAlbany men’s basketball team closed out 2017 in style, defeating reigning MAC champion Kent State 78-68 at the SEFCU Arena to complete non-conference play at 12-3.
A couple of steals in the halfcourt gave Kent State the early 4-0 advantage, later going to 8-3 after another steal and score on a fast break three minutes in.
UAlbany used primarily outside shots to bridge the gap, tying the game with a David Nichols three off a screen. The sides kept exchanging runs as both teams turned to the paint, with UAlbany going up by three with two Travis Charles jumpers, then Kent State retaking the lead with two baskets, capped by a Jaylin Walker jumper. Kent State led 15-14 with 9:06 left in the 1st.
Sparked by a three-pointer by Ahmad Clark, UAlbany pushed forward with a 7-0 run, including a running layup by Joe Cremo and Alex Foster shaking a defender for a layup, to make it 21-15 Great Danes under eight in the 1st.
Including perimeter shots by Kevin Zabo and Jaylin Walker, Kent State retook the advantage with less than four minutes left. After UAlbany notched three points and Kent State hit a jumper, neither side scored in the final two minutes of the first half for a 29-29 tie score at the break.
The exchanges continued as physical play in the paint was performed by both teams. Three times Kent State went up a possession, and UAlbany countered. The third time, a Charles jumper and a Devonte Campbell pair of free throws gave UAlbany the lead 37-35. Campbell got the next possession, knocking down the kickout three. After Kent State ended the run, a jumper by Charles, a fastbreak layup by Cremo and a Charles basket off the window completed a 13-3 streak to make it 46-37 UAlbany with 12:28 left.
UAlbany kept using the free throw line and defense to extend the lead. Following Kent State pulling to within five, Clark and Charles primarily scored the points on an 11-2 run, for a 57-43 UAlbany advantage, 8:34 left.
UAlbany held a double-digit lead for over six minutes when Kent State completed a 7-0 run to make it 69-61 UAlbany with 2:14 to go.
UAlbany ended Kent State’s run with a Nichols three in the corner to put UAlbany back up by double digits for good. Charles added a jumper with a minute to go. Late free throws by Campbell and Cremo helped UAlbany earn the 78-68 victory.
UAlbany starts conference play on Wednesday, January 3rd, hosting Hartford at 7 p.m. in the SEFCU Arena. For ticket information for UAlbany basketball games, fans may contact the UAlbany ticket office at 518-442-DANE or ualbanysports.com/tickets.