Foster shines as Danes pick up win on Senior Night
ALBANY, N.Y. — Four Danes finish in double figures, including two seniors in the men’s basketball team’s regular season finale 71-54 win over Binghamton on senior night Tuesday night at SEFCU Arena.
Before the ball was tipped four seniors were honored at mid-court to a standing ovation by the 2,148 people that were in attendance. Center Greig Stire, forward Travis Charles, guard Costa Anderson and 5th year grad student transfer Alex Foster all participated in their last regular season game at SEFCU Arena. This senior class is responsible for 90 wins, tying a school record.
“Well I hope Saturday we beat that record and get to 91,” said UAlbany Head Coach Will Brown.
Travis Charles did not play Tuesday due to a mild MCL sprain he suffered this past Saturday in the final minutes of UAlbany’s 89-79 win over Maine. Charles has been a major part of the Danes’ production this season and has averaged just under 15 points in 29 minutes per game. “The Walking Bucket” shoots 55-percent from the floor and his production leaves a major void with the start of the America East Conference Tournament this Saturday.
Have no fear Alex Foster is here. Foster had the best night of his career wearing a UAlbany uniform and it was only fitting that it took place on a night where he was honored. He went 7-for-9 from the floor, scored 15 points, snagged 10 rebounds, recorded four blocks and was an anchor for his team that was unsure how they would look without Charles.
Halfway through the second half Joe Cremo, rebounded a missed free throw by the Bearcats, passed the ball up to Costa Anderson, who hit a wide-open David Nichols on the baseline and put up a 3-point attempt. The ball bounced off the rim and right into Foster’s hands, who was in mid-flight and thundered it home for a two handed slam. The crowd rose to their feet while that dunk took the life out of Binghamton and pretty much sealed the deal for the Great Danes.
“It was pretty good,” said Foster regarding having the burden of taking Charles’ minutes. “That’s actually one of the first times that that has ever happened in any of the school that I’ve played at.”
Foster has also played at Bradley and Texas Tech where he came off the bench for his duration at both schools.
“Next man up creates opportunity,” said Brown. “When you embrace it, it creates other opportunities.”
Greig Stire was another bright spot on senior night. The 4th year player recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 boards. He and Foster pulled in combined 22 rebounds in UAlbany’s 16 point win.
“When you put Foster and Stire together on the glass it’s just different,” said Binghamton Head Coach Tommy Dempsey. “Those guys are one of the best two rebounders in the league.”
It’s too bad that there’s only so much time these two seniors will have left together on the court.
“It’s sad that my time here is coming to an end, but we did a good job tonight,” said Stire. “I’m still excited that we have at least one more tournament left to play. So we should make sure we’re ready to go Saturday and make the best of the conference tournament and try to get another championship.”
The quest for another conference championship starts this Saturday when the Danes host the Stony Brook Seawolves in the opening round of the America East Conference Tournament. UAlbany comes into the game as the No. 4 seed and Stony Brook as the No. 5. The games tips at 7 p.m. at SEFCU Arena
Last year the Danes knocked off the Seawolves 63-53 in the semi-final game down in Long Island to advance to the conference championship game.
“If we had any rivals in this league it would be Vermont and Stony Brook,” said Brown. “Rivalries are formed in my opinion not because the school is next door or they’re a SUNY school. It’s because you’ve played meaningful games against them.”
Last year the Danes lost to Vermont in the America East Championship game in Burlington. This year it looks like they will have to play at Vermont if they can fend off a surging Seawolve team.