ALBANY — A night full of emotions and celebration, the University of Albany men’s basketball team gave their seniors a send off as they beat Binghamton 71-54 in their last game of the 2017-2018 regular season.
Before the game, each senior was honored which included Greig Stire, Travis Charles, Alex Foster and Costa Anderson. Each player was escorted onto the court by their families and friends and gifted with a large framed portrait of themselves at center court prior to the game.
UAlbany (21-9, 10-6) sent five players out on the court last night but it was not their regular starting five. With the injury to Travis Charles last Saturday, senior forward Alex Foster was called into duty. Foster is a graduate student and this season was his first with UAlbany after attending Texas Tech and Bradley. He finished the first half with five points including an emphatic two-handed dunk that sent the crowd into a frenzy and added four rebounds.
Along with Foster, Costa Anderson got the start in celebration of his accomplishments as a player on the team. He chipped in six points without a missing a shot and added one assist.
The second half began and it looked like Binghamton (11-20, 2-14) made some adjustments. Missed baskets and turnovers allowed the Bear Cats to crawl right back into the game as they scored the first points right out of halftime. However, UAlbany would not break under pressure as they stormed right back with a run of their own and quickly built up their lead to double digits and never looked back.
Foster was the star of the game as he finished with a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks) while playing a career high 33 minutes.
“It was pretty good,” Foster stated after the game when asked how nice it was to get a large amount of playing time, “It was actually one of the first times it has ever happened with every school I’ve been at.”
With Travis Charles recovering from his MCL sprain, Foster has big shoes to fill but head coach Will Brown is not worried too much because he knows Foster has the ability and the mentality to step up and contribute to the team’s success moving forward.
“He gives us length, gives us some shot blocking and he can play above the rim,” head coach Will Brown describing what Foster does well and what he gives to the team while on the court. Foster has the ability to be a threat and tag team with Greig Stire and be a force to be reckoned with under the basket.
Along with Foster, fellow senior forward Greig Stire also had a game. He was quiet early on but also finished with a double-double (11 points, 12 rebounds and two assists). After the game, Stire was full of emotion but was grateful that he has been able to enjoy his time with UAlbany while being excited and focused on the task ahead.
“It’s sad that my time here is coming to an end but I think we did a good job tonight and I’m still excited that I have one more tournament to play.”
As the regular season has come to a close, the postseason is just beginning. The America East Conference tournament will begin this Saturday, March 3rd as UAlbany will play Stony Brook for the third time this year. Since UAlbany finished in the top four of the conference, they earned one more home game at SEFCU Arena. UAlbany defeated Stony Brook twice this season and knocked them out of the tournament last year so the Seawolves will be coming in with a vengeance.
Tip off will be at 7 p.m. as UAlbany start their quest to win the America East Conference tournament and earning an automatic berth to the 2018 NCAA tournament.