Danes Right Ship Against Seawolves
ALBANY, N.Y. — The UAlbany men’s basketball team are having themselves a whirlwind of a season. The Danes snapped a two game skid and defeated the Stony Brook Seawolves 78-65 earning their first conference win of the year in front of a crowd of 2,288 at SEFCU Arena Wednesday night.
Last season the Danes beat the Seawolves to advance to the America East Championship game and this year they picked up right where they left off.
Travis Charles led the charge for the Danes with 20-points and shot 7-for-11 from the field. The impressive part is the fact that grad student forward was only on the court for 18-minutes and scored 18 of his points in the second half. Travis picked up two early fouls in the game and was quickly put on the bench by Will Brown in less than three minutes into the game.
“I’ve always been a big believer and it goes back to the Dean Smith and the North Carolina days. If you get two fouls you sit,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown.
In that first half the Danes had a hard time separating themselves and there were six lead changes. The Seawolves hit seven 3-pointers in the first frame and it looked as if the Danes were in for a long game. At one point Stony Brook hit four three-pointers on consecutive trips down the court.
The Seawolves did all they could in the first half to put wrinkle in the UAlbany game plan and led the game for about six minutes as the teams traded blows.
“The first half we didn’t execute the scout,” said Brown. “It’s frustrating because we played really hard, but couldn’t execute and gave up seven threes.”
The second half was a different story. David Nichols and Travis Charles put their stamp on the game and the Danes didn’t trail at any point in the final 20-minutes.
“I’m disappointed with the end result of the game, but we knew coming in with Albany being 0-2 that they would have a great sense of urgency,” said Stony Brook head coach Jeff Boals.
Nichols shot 5-for-6 from downtown and finished with 19-points. He let the game come to him and took high percentage shots. This was due large to Charles’ presence on the court. Every time Charles got the ball the Stony Brook defense would collapse to him and that left Nichols open to shoot a high percentage jump shot.
“Travis [Charles] doesn’t miss. Joe [Cremo] doesn’t miss and whenever I can get those guys the ball I realize I don’t have to force shots,” said Nichols.
Last time out Nichols went 3-for-15 from the floor in the 64-61 loss to New Hampshire, a sub .500 ball club.
On Wednesday the Danes spread the ball around leaving it up to the open man to knock down a shot. UAlbany had a season high 20 assists and played a style of game that was not reminiscent to their last two outings.
“We have a sense of desperation to play together on both ends,” said Charles. “Let’s study the scout and do our jobs as players.”
That phrase was reiterated over and over after Wednesday’s game. The Danes as a team were well prepared for what they were going up against in the Seawolves. They trust in the coaching staff and in the scouting report that is put together and it is then up to the players to execute.
“Since we’re on break we don’t really have any homework right now besides studying the scout,” said Charles. “There’s really no excuse.”
The Danes are looking to build off this game and looking to keep the momentum rolling this weekend as they take to the road and square off with Maine this Saturday for a noon tipoff at the Cross Insurance Center. Last year UAlbany beat Maine both times the teams met by an average of 18 points.
“There’s no excuses. We’re going up there for one reason. We’re going up there to win a game,” said coach Brown. “We need to be focused and we need to be ready to go.”