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The Great Danes Switch to Crest as They Drop Colgate

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ALBANY, N.Y. — The University at Albany Great Danes men’s basketball team continued their hot start to the season, defeating the Colgate Raiders 75-69 Wednesday night at the SEFCU Arena.

The win, which was played in front of 2,004 fans, puts the team at 7-1 after suffering their first loss of the season in the last game at Monmouth Monday night.

“I thought we were a little tired tonight, we came out a little flat,” said coach Will Brown on the team’s slow first half in which they shot just 39 percent from the field, along with 3-14 from three.  “I thought in the second half we played with more of a purpose, more energy. We shared the ball offensively and we did a better job defending collectively in the second half.”

UAlbany was led by a double-double from Travis Charles, who went 6-8 from the field for 17 points to go with 10 rebounds.

Coach Brown was quick to acknowledge Charles, who has been averaging 16 points and six rebounds on the year, for his stellar play recently.

“There’s not a better player in our player in our program right now than Travis Charles. He is the most consistent player in our program right now, and he gets no love,” said Brown. He is awesome. He is just a machine offensively. Travis Charles is playing at such a high level right now.”

The Danes biggest advantage came on the boards, with UAlbany outrebounding Colgate 39 to 24. This continues the Great Danes’ streak of outrebounding every team they have played this season.

The rebounding edge also led to 20 second-chance points compared to just 4 for the Raiders.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on defense and rebounding. Nowadays teams are so worried about transition defense, we’re probably one of the few teams that are trying to be relentless on the offensive glass,” said Brown. On a night when shots aren’t going in, if your mindset is to go to the offensive glass, you’re going to get some second-chance opportunities.”

Another deciding factor for the game was at the free throw line, as the Danes went 19-23 from the line, while Colgate went 11-16.

“Our goal is every game to make more free throws than our opponent attempts, and tonight we did that,” said Coach Brown. “We got to the line. We made our free throws.”

After going scoreless in the first half, Joe Cremo not only managed to find a way to contribute by leading the team with six assists, he came back in the second half with 12 points.

“I was just being lazy on offense in the first half,” said Cremo on his first-half struggles. “We’re just trying to find a way to win and lead the team in other ways.”

Colgate, who went 1-9 to end the game, falls to 3-3 on the year and have now traded wins and losses in their last four games.

UAlbany has now defeated Colgate in seven of their last eight meetings, although the Raiders still lead the all-time series 14-9.  The win also gives the Danes a sweep of the Patriot League Conference, after beating Boston University and Holy Cross earlier this year.

The Great Danes are home for the next two games, as they’ll host Columbia Saturday night and Bryant next Wednesday before they head to the Times Union Center next Saturday to face Siena in the 17th annual Albany Cup.

Justin Berlund is a sports writer for the Albany Student Press.

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