ALBANY, N.Y. - The University at Albany men’s basketball team opens America East play on Saturday at SEFCU Arena against preseason conference favorite Vermont.
The Great Danes (5-10) wrapped a non-conference schedule with a five-day road trip, visiting Kent State and Niagara in succession. UAlbany fell in a heartbreaker to Kent State 70-68 before opening the Niagara game three days later on a 16-0 run. The Danes led by as many as 18 in the first half before seeing their lead overcome by the Purple Eagles, who led by five late in the second, only for UAlbany to bounce back and win 79-74 to end the non-conference schedule with a victory.
Vermont last played its final non-conference game of the regular season against Dartmouth. The Catamounts defeated the Big Green by 14 points, 73-59. It was Vermont’s first game since a December 21 drubbing at Lipscomb where the Catamounts fell by 25 to the Bison for the teams’ most lopsided loss of the season so far which has included Kansas and Louisville on the schedule. Prior to that game, Vermont had won six in a row.
The Catamounts swept the Great Danes last season, winning handily in Burlington, 61-50, and more narrowly in Albany just 15 days later, 72-67. In the latter game, Vermont shot a perfect 20-20 from the free-throw line, and came back to win from a nine-point halftime deficit. Vermont’s best player this year, Anthony Lamb, did not play in either of last year’s matchups.
Last season, Vermont went 15-1 in the America East, with their lone blemish coming in a one-point loss at Hartford. The Catamounts were upset at home in the America East title game to UMBC, who went on to defeat top overall seed Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Following the conclusion of the non-conference schedule, UAlbany is sixth in the America East at 5-10, one game ahead of Binghamton, who is 4-11. Stony Brook ended the non-conference slate atop the standings at 12-3, followed by Vermont at 10-4. UMass Lowell and UMBC, both 8-7, are the only other teams in the conference above .500 after the first two months.
Saturday’s game will feature the top two scorers in the America East in UAlbany’s Ahmad Clark (19.1 ppg) and Vermont’s Lamb (21.9 ppg).
Following the game against Vermont, UAlbany will host a second straight home game on Saturday, January 12 against Maine.
THE OUTLOOK: VERMONT (10-4) | Saturday, January 5, 7:00 p.m. | Albany, N.Y.
Last we met: L, 72-67, February 8, 2018, Albany, N.Y.
Tale of the Tape:
UAlbany is 3-3 at home this season
Vermont is 4-3 on the road
Vermont defeated Boston University 78-72; UAlbany lost 71-61
Vermont defeated Yale 79-70; UAlbany lost 71-63
Vermont defeated Dartmouth 73-59; UAlbany went 0-2 against Dartmouth
Vermont’s Anthony Lamb leads the America East in scoring (21.9); Ahmad Clark ranks second (19.1)
Clark leads in assists (4.5)
Lamb leads in blocked shots (2.5)
Vermont has gone 7-1 since starting the season 3-3
Vermont has won the last five games in the series
Series History: Vermont leads 32-14
2017-18 Record: 27-8, (15-1 AE); first place America East, America East finalist, NIT First Round
Top Offensive Player: Anthony Lamb, Jr., F, (21.9 / 7.6 / 2.0)