ALBANY — The University of Albany Great Danes men’s basketball team kicked off their Gotham Classic schedule last night as they took on and defeated Bryant University out of the Northeast Conference 84-68
UAlbany continued their non conference and improving their record to 9-1. The Danes used an absolute dominant second half or as head coach Will Brown put it, “a tale of two halves, which seems to be a common theme with us”. The Great Danes however did take control and were able to pull away outscoring Bryant 47-31 during the period. Forward Joe Cremo exploded for 18 second half points and led all scorers with 24 points while adding 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
David Nichols also played a very large part in last night’s game he had 17 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists. He got the second half rout going after immediately getting to the rim and scoring right at the get go. He and Cremo took control of the second half early and was able to help be the backbone to the team’s dominance in the second half.
After the game concluded, both Cremo and Nichols were humble and pleased with the outcome. Cremo stated that the team has not reached their full potential yet but they are working hard in practice to get better everyday.
“We need to keep getting better, take more pride individually and with me in particular I need to get better. Being a leader on this team and a starter to show the guys coming off the bench we need more effort,” Cremo said.
Nichols added; “Fouls were a big part I could not play at my best in the first half, but my teammates did a good job of setting me up, getting me open with screens and finding my on the perimeter when I was open.”
Defense was also the story in the second half for the Great Danes as they smothered Bryant completely and forced them to take difficult jump-shots late in the shot clock. UAlbany was able to force the majority of Bryant’s turnovers in the second half and did not allow Bryant to get inside the paint and score easy baskets.
It was not all easy-going for the Danes however, the first half ended with a 37-37 game and looking like Bryant would hang around for a while. Bryant knocked down six first half three-point shots to pace themselves and had a pretty solid defensive plan. They double-teamed UAlbany’s big men (Travis Charles and Greig Stire) down low and were forcing bad shots. However, adjustments were made at halftime and an early injury to Bryant guard Adam Grant allowed the Danes to take over and run away in the second half.
This game was part of the annual Gotham Classic. The Gotham Classic is a yearly set of games that began back in 2012. This year it will feature a showcase at Madison Square Garden with the University of Louisville and Memphis University doing battle on December 16th.
UAlbany will continue their non-conference schedule Saturday night December 9th in another Gotham Classic match up against Siena College. The Great Danes took this game last year against the Saints and will look to take the Albany Cup for the second year in a row.
The game will be played at the Times Union Center in Albany with tip-off at 7:30 p.m.