It was a tale of 2 halves of the Wednesday night matchup between the University at Albany Great Danes and Marist Red Foxes.
The largest lead in the 1st half, for either team, was 8. The score was 10-2 UAlbany at that time. And after a hot shooting half for each team, the Danes led by 4, 32-28, through 20 minutes.
But something must of been said by someone to light a fire under the Danes in the locker room, as the Danes came out making baskets early and often in the 2nd period.
The Danes used a huge 2nd half to get by the hosts, outscoring them 43-25 in the 2nd frame, providing the final score of 75-53 in the visitors favor. Evan Singletary came out of the locker with his hand on fire, getting 7 of the Danes first 9 2nd half points. 15 of his 17 points, good for 2nd on the team, came in the 2nd half. The Danes shot the ball at a 55% in the 2nd half, going 16-of-29 from the field.
Ray Sanders had another big game offensively for the Great Danes. Sanders led the team with 18 points shooting the ball at a high clip, going 8-for-11 from the field on the evening, also leading the team with 3 steals. The Danes are a perfect 6-0 when Sanders scores in the double digits, compared to 1-3 when he scores less that 10. That 1 win was against Division 3 opponent Oneonta.
518 native and Scotia-Glenville great Joe Cremo had another phenomenal game off the bench for Coach Will Brown and the Danes, pouring in 16 points off 6-of-7 shooting and pulling down 6 rebounds. Cremo has now scored in double digits in the past 3 UAlbany contests, seemingly getting more and more comfortable as his experience increases game-by-game.
Peter Hooley didn’t provide much of a scoring presence for the squad, only putting in 7 points, but had 6 assists, 5 rebounds and a pair of steals to his title.
The play of the shorthanded Great Danes front court may be have been the story of the night though. CBA graduate and UAlbany sophomore Greig Stire pulled down 14 rebounds, 1 shy of the Danes Division 1 record of 15. Stire had already picked up 10 rebounds before the under 8 media timeout of the first half, easily crushing his previous career high of 9 rebounds. Mike Rowley also brought down 11 rebounds, and Rowley and Stire added 12 points to the Danes total. But possibly the most impressive stat of the night was the 42 points the Danes scored in the paint, compared to Marist’s 26. Also, the Danes had 13 2nd chances points, while the Red Foxes only had 3. The Danes were nothing short of dominating the rebound game, as they were one rebound away of doubling Marist’s total, as the Danes came away with a 47-24 rebounding final advantage, including 16 offensive rebounds.
The Danes were without 2 of their 4 main front court players in Richard Peters and Travis Charles. Peters did not make the trip an hour and a half south as he was diagnosed with a possible case of food poisoning after eating at Chipotle this past weekend, and had to be hospitalized Sunday night into Monday. Charles was dressed and could play if needed, but Brown decided against it as Charles missed Wednesday morning’s shoot around due an illness. Chipotle has been at the forefront of an outbreak of E. coli across the nation recently, and only a couple days ago 8 Boston College men’s basketball players were diagnosed with it after eating at the same Chipotle in Boston, and 2 more were suspected of having it.
With the win, the Danes improve to 7-3 on the season, winning the past 5 and 7 of the last 8 games. The Danes will head crosstown to face rival Siena Saturday night at approximately 7:30 in the battle for the Albany Cup, something the men’s team has retained the past 3 years.