Danes demolish Colgate in home opener
By Bryan Saur
Nov. 19, 2015
The University at Albany Great Danes (1-2) returned to SEFCU Arena for the first home game of the 2015-2016 basketball season as they took on the Colgate Raiders (1-2).
The Great Danes returned to their winning ways as they pummeled the Raiders 88-67 for their first win of the season behind the efforts of Ray Sanders and Evan Singletary.
After struggling during the first two games of the season, Ray Sanders delivered a career performance Thursday night. The senior guard set career highs, dropping 24 points with five steals.
“Tonight I tried to let my defense open up my offensive game,” said Sanders.
Sanders did just that five minutes into the game. After drilling a 3-pointer, Sanders stole the ball at midcourt and proceeded to slam it down getting a big roar from the Danes bench and the rest of SEFCU Arena.
“That’s a spark for us,” Sanders said about his steal and dunk. “It wakes the crowd up, it wakes the bench up that wakes the players up and makes us play that much harder.”
Soon after his highlight dunk Sanders delivered another highlight play at the 14:08 mark. As the shot clock was expiring, Sanders drained a 3-pointer from the corner as the buzzer went off. He finished shooting 8-10 from the field including a perfect 6-6 behind the arc.
Senior guard Evan Singletary shot 7-13 from the field adding 21 points 3 assists and 6 rebounds. After a poor team shooting performance the first 2 games, Singletary felt that extra shooting practice helped them out tonight.
“We hit the gym a little bit early and got extra shots. Yesterday we came early and got some extra shooting,” Singletary said. “We aren’t worried about shooting the ball bad. We got to stay confident.”
The Great Danes shot 52.7 percent from the field including 63.2 percent from behind the 3-point line.
UAlbany head coach Will Brown was very happy with his team’s shooting performance, but stressed how they have to be more consistent shooting the ball throughout the season.
“We are a good shooting team. We are not going to shoot it like we did tonight every night, but very few nights we are gonna shoot like we did at Kentucky or BU,” said coach Brown. “We have to find the median.”
Despite struggling early in the game, senior Peter Hooley finished with 11 points, hitting 4-6 free throws. Hooley had a highlight play late in the second half when he jumped over 2 Colgate defenders laying it in for 2 points and drawing a foul. Hooley hit the free throw to complete the 3-point play. This was Hooleys 10th consecutive game in double figures. Hooley also passed UAlbany assistant coach Jon Lati for 7th all time in UAlbany Division I career scoring with 1,152 points in his career.
The Great Danes look to get back to an even record when they take on the Oneonta Red Dragons 7 pm Saturday night at SEFCU Arena.