Men's Basketball Draws #3 UMBC in AE Quarterfinals
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany men’s basketball team closed out the regular season on a high note, rolling Binghamton on the road 73-58. Now, the Great Danes face a rubber-match with the defending America East champion UMBC Retrievers in the America East Tournament quarterfinal round on Saturday.
UAlbany finished the regular season with an overall record of 12-19, with a 7-9 mark in America East play. In their last game, at Binghamton, the Great Danes trailed early, before rolling off a combined 22-0 run to end the first half and begin the second to take full command of the game. Binghamton cut the lead to 13 in the second half before UAlbany pulled away once more to win 73-58.
On Friday, the America East announced the 2018-19 All-Conference selections. Ahmad Clark and Cameron Healy were named to the All-Conference Third Team, while Devonte Campbell earned his third-straight selection to the All-Defensive Team. Additionally, Healy was named to the All-Rookie team. UMBC landed one First Team selection, forward Joe Sherburne, who was also named All-Academic, one Second Team selection, guard K.J. Jackson, who was also named All-Defense, and one All-Rookie selection, guard R.J. Eytle-Rock.
UMBC enjoyed its second of two byes during conference play over the weekend, having played their 16th and final game of the conference schedule last Wednesday, against New Hampshire. The Retrievers narrowly defeated the Wildcats, 56-53, to snap a two-game losing streak to UAlbany and to Stony Brook, both on the road. Prior to the two-game skid, UMBC had won four straight, including their second victory this year, and third-straight overall, over regular-season champion Vermont.
In the first game against UMBC, in Baltimore, the Great Danes led 30 minutes of game time. The lead changed 11 times but UAlbany was able to hold the advantage for the majority of the game. The Retrievers’ defense came through late to force overtime, where they hit a corner three to take a one-point lead with 10 seconds remaining. Healy’s last-ditch three didn’t fall, and the Retrievers took game one, 65-64.
In the rematch, in Albany, Healy highlighted proceedings by hitting five threes to break UAlbany’s single-season program record for three-pointers. The Great Danes built a 21-point lead over the Retrievers in the second half before winning by nine, 84-75. The 84 points matched a season high in scoring for UAlbany, attained previously in the Danes’ first America East victory of the season, against Hartford.
Last season, UMBC upset Vermont in the America East title game before drawing top overall seed Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Retrievers defeated the Cavaliers 74-54, becoming the first 16-seed in men’s basketball history to upset a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament. UMBC’s Cinderella run ended in the tournament’s second round with a loss against Kansas St.
Vermont claimed the regular season title for the third-straight season. Stony Brook clinched the two-seed with a victory on the road at Hartford, and with the loss the Hawks fell to fourth. UMBC won 10 of its last 13 games to clinch the three-seed. UMass Lowell finished fifth, the highest America East Tournament seed in program history. UAlbany has been seeded sixth or higher in the conference tournament in each of the last nine seasons. Seven-seed Binghamton and eight-seed Maine round out the playoff pool.
Following the quarterfinal round, the bracket will be re-seeded among the remaining teams for the semifinal round on Tuesday, March 12. Highest seeds host each tournament game.
THE OUTLOOK: #3 UMBC (19-12, 11-5 AE) | Saturday, March 9, 1:00 p.m. | Baltimore, Md.
Last we met: W, 84-75, February 23, 2019, Albany, N.Y.
Tale of the Tape
- UAlbany is 6-9 on the road this season
- UMBC is 11-4 at home
- UAlbany has won seven of its last 11
- UAlbany has won three of its last four road games
- UMBC has won 10 of its last 13
- UAlbany is 2-1 against UMBC in the America East Tournament
- UMBC leads the America East in scoring defense (63.6), turnover margin (3.29), and steals (7.87)
- UAlbany ranks second in 3FG% (.347)
- Cameron Healy leads in threes (3.3) and FT% (.893)
- Ahmad Clark leads in assists (4.3)
- UMBC’s K.J. Jackson leads in steals (2.2)
Series History: UAlbany leads 25-10
2017-18 Record: 25-11, (12-4 AE); second place AE, AE champions, NCAA Second Round
Top Offensive Player: Joe Sherburne, Gr., F, (14.3 / 6.3 / 2.8)