Bill Ziskin

UAlbany Men's Basketball Season Ends with 59-55 Defeat vs. St. Peter's in CIT First Round

UAlbany Sports Information   03-16-2017

ALBANY, N.Y. – In a battle with Saint Peter’s, the UAlbany men’s basketball team had its season come to a close with a 59-55 defeat at the SEFCU Arena in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).

After a David Nichols three, UAlbany (21-14) led by eight over Saint Peter’s (20-13) in the midway point of the second half.  The Peacocks outscored UAlbany 19-7 the rest of the way to get the win.

“We played a really good basketball team tonight, an older, more mature team, and we knew they were one of the best defensive teams in the MAAC,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “We knew it would come down to possessions, and what hurt us the most was foul trouble.”

UAlbany was playing in its sixth consecutive postseason and second time in the CIT.  The Great Danes finish the year at 21-14, its third consecutive 20+ win season.

This ends the careers of Mike Rowley and Dallas Ennema.  Their senior class helped UAlbany win 88 games and win two America East Tournaments.

Nichols led UAlbany with 15 points and four assists, adding four boards.  Joe Cremo tallied 13 points, three assists and four rebounds while Greig Stire shot 4-for-6 for 10 points and three boards.

For Saint Peter’s, which advances to the next round of the CIT, Nick Griffin had a game-high 16 points.  Quadir Welton got 13 points, four assists, two blocks and two steals.

Early in the game, both sides used up the shot clock trying to get possessions in the paint.  UAlbany went for Stire the first couple of plays, with him getting a basket for a home team lead.  St. Peter’s went to its guards, getting two field goals to lead 4-2 at the first media.

As the defense continued to be strong for both sides, UAlbany connected two field goals, a kickout to Cremo for three and a layup to Stire.  St. Peter’s took back the lead off a pair of threes, then Nichols buried a kick out three to put UAlbany back ahead. 11-10 nine minutes in.

UAlbany put a tall lineup on the floor to try to counter the St. Peter’s frontcourt.  With St. Peter’s up three, UAlbany went to the kick out again, drawing attention to the center then throwing out to Cremo in the corner for a three, tying the game.  Later, Cremo added another three from up top the arc, then Nichols hit a jumper to complete the 8-0 run and push UAlbany up 20-15 with 5:30 left in the 1st.

St. Peter’s, using a couple of things, got back to a tie at 23-23.  Back to the three UAlbany went as Ennema hit one from the corner, then Nichols added a transition pull-up to put the Great Danes back in front 28-23.  A couple of Welton layups made it 28-27 UAlbany at the break.

After an exchange of defensive plays, both sides started to connect on layups.  UAlbany strung together three to counter two from St. Peter’s, taking a 34-31 advantage in the first few minutes of the second.

UAlbany’s defense held St. Peter’s without points for a span of almost three minutes.  The Great Danes went on a 6-0 run in that time.  After St. Peter’s broke the streak, Nichols was left open for a wing three, making it 43-34 UAlbany with 12:46 left to play.

UAlbany held a steady lead for the next couple of minutes, using a Nichols three to counter one from St. Peter’s.  A 6-0 run by the Peacocks pulled the visitors within two at 48-46 with 8:27 remaining.

Though UAlbany defensively held on numerous possessions, a couple of free throws put St. Peter’s ahead.  UAlbany got back the lead as Nichols found Travis Charles with a bounce pass leading to a layup, but St. Peter’s hit two layups in succession to lead, later adding a deep three to make it 58-52 with 1:47 left.

Devonte Campbell hit a three on the next chance to bring UAlbany within one possession.  UAlbany played straight up defense and held on two plays to keep it at a three-point deficit.  But, UAlbany could not bridge the gap and fell to St. Peter’s 59-55.

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