UAlbany Defeats Rival Siena, Takes Albany Cup
Over 10,000 fans packed the Times Union center Saturday night to watch the two local division one basketball programs go at it. In the end it was the UAlbany fans that went home happy after the Great Danes defeated Siena 69-56 to claim the cup for the second time in three years.
The key component in the Danes victory was their defense, holding double-double machine O.D. Anosike to a single-single with eight points and only seven rebounds. Anosike had a double-double in every game so far this season until Saturday night.
UAlbany led 30-24 at the half then outscored the Saints 39-32 in the second half. The second half surge was keyed by Jacob Iati who went off for eight points in a mere 1:48. Iati nailed two long balls and a layup to take the lead to a ten point bulge, 46-36. Iati finished with 13 total. Mike Black also chipped in 13 points for the victorious Great Danes.
Siena's Rob Poole did the best he could to keep the Saints alive scoring 17 of his team leading 19 in the second half.
UAlbany continued their strong early play and raised their record to 6-2 while Siena continues to struggle and are an exact opposite 2-6.
After the game both coaches commented about where their programs are at right now. UAlbany's Will Brown acknowledged the Siena has ruled the Capital Region but his club deserves some respect. "You have to understand that Siena has been doing this for a long time and they have had a lot of success. This is their baby. Men's basketball has always been their baby. The one good thing about our athletic department is that we have had a lot of success in in a lot of different sports."
Losing coach Mitch Buonaguro paid tribute to the opponent saying of the Danes "Not that I am down or anything. We just lost to a team that right now is better then us. I think Albany's a really good team right now. We had to play a really good game to beat them. They're a really good team right now. They went on the road and beat Washington. They proved tonight they are an excellent half court team. They're better then us right now in the half court."
Since both joined division one hoops it is the Saints that have dominated this rivalry winning now nine of the 12 matchups.
The schedule gets no easier for Siena as they travel to play St. Bonaventure on Tuesday while UAlbany is home to St. Francis of New York on Wednesday night.