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UAlbany Gets Pummeled By Stony Brook, Fall To Fourth Place In America East

One week ago, yours truly asserted that the UAlbany Great Danes needed to win two out of three home games against Boston University, Vermont, and Stony Brook to be taken seriously in the America East Conference this season. Last night, the Great Danes fell to Stony Brook 65-49 to complete that stretch at 0-3, proving that they are nowhere near good enough to compete for a conference championship this season.

Before I go any further, allow me to preface this column by saying that I am a die hard Great Danes fan and alum, and that I love the program, contrary to the beliefs of some that I am a hater of any members of the program.

With that said, the last week of UAlbany basketball has been unacceptable, especially last night, the Danes’ worst home loss since January of 2011.

UAlbany’s offense was so stagnant that I saw mosquitoes laying eggs on it from my front row seat. The screens set by players to free up shooters were not screens, but more like a mere essence of what a screen should be, in that the players were in the general area of where they were supposed to be, but no contact was actually made with defenders.

Mike Black, the Great Danes’ best player this season and a 15 point per game scorer, was being honored on “Blackout” night, in which the first 1,000 fans in attendance were given black shirts that had his number ten on the front and back. He scored zero points on 0-7 shooting.

The lone bright spots for the Great Danes were freshman guard Peter Hooley and junior college transfer Gary Johnson, who scored 17 and 12 points, respectively. Johnson did so in 22 minutes, despite receiving scant amounts of playing time over the rest of the season.

As for the Seawolves, they were crisp and brutally efficient, as has come to be expected with them during the Steve Pikiell era.

They had four players reach double figures in scoring and all but one player that saw action for them scored. Freshman Jameel Warney had a double double with ten points and ten rebounds and proved to be unguardable for UAlbany’s bigs, who were presumably having flashbacks to the last few years, when Dallis Joyner was tearing them up in similar fashion for Stony Brook.

The loss dropped the Great Danes to 5-4 in the America East, putting them behind Stony Brook, Vermont and Hartford in the league standings. It also drops the team to 0-12 in their last 12 games against Vermont, Stony Brook and Boston University, a trend that will matter come conference tournament time when the Danes need to defeat Vermont and/or Stony Brook to have a shot at winning an NCAA Tournament bid.

This season, the Great Danes have two wins against teams with winning records and, while the early season win over the Washington Huskies was nice, a 16-7 record against the 305th toughest schedule in college basketball (out of 347 teams) doesn’t feel good when zero of those wins have come against your only real competition in your own league, a league that you absolutely must win to be a part of March Madness.

If the Great Danes continue to perform this way against the elites of the America East, fans can prepare themselves for another exciting CollegeInsider.com Tournament banner raising.

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