UAlbany Menís Basketball Rallies From Down 11, Edged Late vs. UNH 75-67
ALBANY, N.Y. – Despite a second half rally to tie the game, the UAlbany men’s basketball team fell in its third straight conference contest against New Hampshire 75-67 on Wednesday night.
Down by 11 with 14:56 remaining in the second half, UAlbany (9-9, 0-3 AE) pulled even with just under eight minutes left with an 18-7 run. UNH (10-6, 1-1 AE), which hit 14 three-pointers in the game, regained the lead and, despite UAlbany staying close, held the advantage the rest of the way.
“That was a typical UAlbany-UNH game, no matter where it is played, we have been close,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “The difference today is that we did not get stops during the important moments of the game.”
This is the first time since the 2009-10 season that UAlbany has been 0-3 in America East play to begin.
UAlbany led in points in the paint 22-14, rebounding 31-29 and committed a season-low six turnovers.
David Nichols led UAlbany in scoring with 19, including going 6-for-6 from the free throw line, with four rebounds and three steals. Joe Cremo scored 14 points while Devonte Campbell finished with eight points and five rebounds from off the bench.
For UNH, Daniel Deon netted 20 points, including 8-for-8 from the line. Taylor Leissner got a double-double off 16 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
Nichols took three shots in a row for UAlbany, hitting his first two to push the Great Danes ahead 5-2 in the early going. UNH kept shooting threes, making a pair with Jaleen Smith, adding a layup and one from Iba Camara for an 11-6 visitors lead.
After Travis Charles broke the run with a jumper, UNH continued its attack from three, hitting two more in back-to-back possessions for a nine-point advantage. Charles stopped that run as well with a jumper, plus drew a charge to preserve UAlbany’s. Greig Stire added a layup and one, blocked a UNH shot, then gave screen to Nichols for a long jumper.
As the UAlbany defense held UNH without points for over six minutes, Nichols added another jumper to tie the game. Then Nichols drew a double team to free Mike Rowley for the layup, completing the 11-0 run and pushing UAlbany ahead 19-17.
After an exchange of baskets, where Cremo got UAlbany back ahead with a corner three, UNH added a pair of threes and two free throws to go back up 29-22 with three minutes left in the 1st.
UAlbany chipped away at the deficit with a 7-2 run, including three trips to the free throw line and a Charles turnaround jumper, to pull within two at the half 31-29 UNH.
Strategies stayed similar into the second half, including UNH throwing up threes. The Wildcats made a trio of threes in the half’s opening 3:02, adding a Camara layup for a 44-35 UNH lead in the period’s first four minutes.
UNH led by 11 later, then Cremo hit a three to spark the offense. Next possession, Rowley floated a layup in to get UAlbany back to within two possessions at 47-41. UAlbany continued to close; following a Daniel Dion jumper, a Charles short jumper and a kickout three for Dallas Ennema brought the Great Danes within three at 49-46 with 11:48 left.
UAlbany stayed close to UNH, then pulled even with a one-hand floater and then a corner three by Cremo to tie it up. Taylor Leissner quickly went the other way and hit a layup and one in transition for a 57-54 UNH lead with 7:40 to go.
The three helped UNH stay ahead twice, with Keon Burns and Reed each hit baskets behind the arc to keep the advantage. UAlbany kept close with Rowley free throws and a layup and one by Campbell to make it 65-62 UNH at the under-four media timeout.
A couple of Nichols’ free throws with 1:28 remaining brought UAlbany back within two at 66-64. Taking down the shot clock, Leissner hit a three, putting UNH up two possessions the rest of the game. UAlbany could not chip away and fell off late Dion free throws, giving UNH the 75-67 win.
UAlbany gets back on the road for its next game, taking on UMBC on Monday, January 16th at 1 p.m. in Baltimore.