It’s the 518’s greatest rivalry, It’s the Albany Cup. It’s the one time a
year that the capital region sees its two best division 1 basketball teams
face off against each other. This high energy showdown pins neighbor against
neighbor and in some cases divides families. This game as big as it is on the
court is even bigger outside. It really is one of the biggest
events in upstate NY, it’s a day people mark on their calendars.
11,000 fans entered Saturday’s marque match up through metal detectors and
bag checks. The Times Union Center wasn’t farting around with security
given the attention this game grasps. Of the 11,000 fans in attendance, only
about 4,500 of them will be able to witness the action live next year at
UAlbany. When the Danes take the floor at home next year, revenge will
certainly be on their mind given the events of this year’s Albany Cup.
Although the game heads home for UAlbany next year, much of their current
roster won’t be there to see it. For Senior Peter Holley ( the face of the
danes) it was one final shot at crosstown rival Siena.
Things were neck and neck in the first half, but Siena would have the
slight 2 point lead heading to the locker room. This was a half that
featured quite the shot by UAlbany freshman Joe Cremo.( see video below
for more). Cremo actually scored on himself, shooting the ball into the
wrong basket. In his defense, it appeared to have been an attempt at a
Also in the first half, Siena’s Lavon Long lead the way by
putting up 15 on the scoreboard. Brett Bisping, Javion Ogunyemi, Marquis
Wright, and Evan Fisher also contributed 34 big ones at
halftime. As for the Danes it was a team effort, with Ray Sanders leading
the way with 10 points. Everyone that touched the floor for UAlbany put
points on the board, helping the Danes come within 2 of Siena(34-32).
In the second half as the fans got louder, the Saints got hotter. Siena
took advantage of this home court advantage and pushed UAlbany off the
tracks in the last few minutes of the game.
Although UAlbany kept pace they had no match for Siena’s Nico Clareth, who
lead Siena beyond the arc going 3-4(75%) on the night. As time started to
run down, the Danes appeared to do the same. Siena would come out on top
by just 8 points, much of them coming in the last 60 seconds of the game.
Next up for Siena is another yet much smaller rivalry game with their
sister Franciscan college St. Bonaventure at home(Times Union Center) on
December 22nd(your humble correspondents birthday). As for UAlbany it will
be home vs St.Francis on the 19th.