Two Sets of Danes Looking to Dance
Home court advantage certainly paid off for UAlbany this weekend.
Both the women and the men’s basketball teams ran through the America East tournament early rounds at SEFCU Arena and will have a chance to advance to the NCAA tournament.
The UAlbany women defeated Hartford, 65-51, behind 23 points from Megan Craig. The Great Danes will play Stony Brook this afternoon at 4 p.m.
The fourth-seeded men upset No. 1 Vermont 67-58 after getting 26 points from Peter Hooley and 17 from Gary Johnson.
Both teams advanced to the NCAA tournament last season, with the women falling 59-53 to North Carolina, and the men dropping a 73-61 contest to Duke.
Hooley scored the first 13 points of the game and the Danes raced out to 13-5 lead on the top-seeded Catamounts. You can view the full game story courtesy of UAlbany here, but the bottom line is that the Danes really controlled the score the entire day.
UAlbany swelled the lead to 42-23 early in the second half before UVM used a 10-0 run to get back within single-digits.
The Danes withstood ball pressure and were able to shoot it just well enough to keep the ‘Cats at bay.
When you look at the boxscore, you’ll see just how interesting this game was.
The Danes shot just 41 percent, only three percentage points better than Vermont. Vermont had nine three-pointers, compared to UA’s five.
The only advantages that Albany had turned out to win them the game. The Danes out-rebounded UVM by 15 (45-30) and attempted 18 more free throws.
Johnson had 13 rebounds while Sam Rowley had eight. The Danes are going to need to shoot it better from the outside if they want to beat Stony Brook next Saturday (11:30 a.m., ESPN 2).
UA beat Stony Brook by 10 in Albany earlier this season. They fell by five on Long Island.
Defensively, the Danes will have their hands full with America East Player of the Year Jameel Warney (14.7 ppg, 7.9 rebounds). But Albany held Vermont leading scorer, Clancy Rugg, to just 13, so expect them to be ready for Warney.
The Danes moved to 27-4 after beating Hartford on Sunday afternoon. The win earns Albany a rematch with Stony Brook today (March 10). The Seawolves beat Albany on March 1, ending UA’s 38-game conference win streak.
Read the full game story here, but UAlbany used a 15-3 run before the half to head into the break up 30-20. They never trailed after that.
The Danes out-rebounded Hartford by 11, which is what they have done all season to opponents. Craig (23), Shereesha Richards (19) and Sarah Royals (11) all scored in double figures for UA while Tammy Phillips had 10 rebounds.
The Danes shot 16 free throws in the contest while limiting Hartford to just eight.
Rebounding and free throws can win games in March. Albany is solid in both aspects. They shot 48 percent from the floor on Saturday, and if they can do that today, they should be dancing for the second straight season.