UAlbany Men's Basketball Begins CIT First Round, Hosts Saint Peter's on Thursday at the SEFCU Arena
ALBANY, N.Y. – The UAlbany men’s basketball team is set to begin its sixth consecutive postseason, hosting Saint Peter’s for the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) on Thursday, March 16th at 7 p.m. at the SEFCU Arena.
Tickets for the game start as low as $5 and are currently available through the UAlbany ticket office at ualbanysports.com/tickets and at 518-442-DANE. Courtside seats are $10, chairbacks are $7 and bleacher seats are $5.
The game will be streamed through Facebook Live as part of 28 CIT contests aired through Facebook. In addition, Rodger Wyland will have the radio call on 104.5 the Team.
UAlbany earned a place in the America East title game, falling 56-53 at Vermont, after finishing third in the league, standing 21-13 overall and 10-6 in conference play. Saint Peter’s last played in the MAAC semifinals, a 73-65 defeat to Iona, after getting second place in its league at 14-6 and 19-13 overall. Each team in this game fell in its league tournament to the eventual conference champion.
The Great Danes are playing its their sixth straight postseason and second CIT, last playing in 2012. That year, UAlbany fell to Manhattan at home 89-79. Saint Peter’s is playing in the CIT for the first time and will play in a postseason for the first time since 2011. The winner moves into the second round of the CIT with the field narrowing to 13 teams.
This is the first-ever meeting between UAlbany and Saint Peter’s. UAlbany is 2-1 against MAAC teams this season, defeating Siena and Marist while falling at Canisius. Saint Peter’s did not play an America East team this year, last playing one in 2015 with a win over Hartford.
SIXTH STRAIGHT POSTSEASON: UAlbany is playing in its sixth postseason in as many seasons with its participation in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Among its six postseasons in those six years including three NCAA Tournaments, one CBI Tournament and two CIT Tournaments.
Under Will Brown, UAlbany has played in eight postseason tournaments since 2006, including five times in the NCAA. That includes a 71-64 NCAA first round victory over Mount St. Mary’s in 2014.
Last year, UAlbany played in the CBI, falling in a 94-90 overtime game at Ohio.
THE DYNAMIC DUO: Joe Cremo and David Nichols have been a strong scoring pair this season, with each standing in the top-10 in points per game in the America East. Between the two, they have 23 20+ point games and a combined 61 double digit scoring contests (of a possible 68) this season.
SWITCHING LINEUPS: UAlbany played the same starting five in 17 of the first 18 games this season: Joe Cremo, Marqueese Grayson, David Nichols, Mike Rowley and Greig Stire. The last 16 games other than Senior Day, Devonte Campbell entered the lineup for Grayson; UAlbany is 12-4 in those contests.
SOPHOMORE SURGE FOR NICHOLS: David Nichols is having a strong sophomore season, averaging 17.9 points per game in 34 contests. He has earned 32 double digit scoring games this year after having none last season, averaging 2.7 points per game in 15 contests played in 2015-16.
SEVEN WINNING LEAGUE SEASONS IN A ROW: UAlbany has earned a winning record in America East play each of the past seven seasons starting in the 2010-11 year, including a combined 28-4 tally from 2015-16. UAlbany has earned 10 winning seasons in America East play in the last 12 under Will Brown, including this year.
STREAKS: Mike Rowley has grabbed at least one rebound each of the past 100 games, including the entire 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Greig Stire has earned at least one board in each of the past 70 games, including a single game record 15 rebounds at Hartford on January 22nd.
The first guard off the bench last season, Joe Cremo has scored points in each of his last 65 games going back to Nov. 19, 2015. Cremo has also dished out at least one assist in each of the past 29 games. David Nichols has also scored each game this year and is on a 36-game scoring streak.
THREE GREAT DANES EARN AE TOURNAMENT HONORS: After the America East Tournament, three Great Danes were selected for awards. David Nichols, who notched 24.3 points per game including 40 against Hartford in the quarterfinals, and Joe Cremo, who earned 11.3 points and 5.3 assists per contest, each earned All-Tournament Team.
Mike Rowley was honored as the America East Elite 17 Award. It is given to the player, of junior academic standing or higher, with the best GPA in the America East title game. Rowley has a 3.51 GPA in business administration.
SCOUTING SAINT PETER’S: Saint Peter’s had the top scoring defense in the MAAC, and 12th in Division I, allowing 61.8 points per game. First Team All-MAAC forward Quadir Welton is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder at 12.1 points and eight rebounds per game. Chazz Patterson is the league’s Defensive Player of the Year with 4.9 points and 1.7 steals per game.