Expectations? Exceeded. UAlbany Burns Black Bears in OT

The UAlbany – Maine game was meaningless. That’s the common sense going in- both seeds are set, UAlbany even knew exactly who and when they were playing the the America East championship…. and yet, this game could not have been bigger for the Danes. This is the first time Albany has beaten a better team; they were winless against the stop three. Now they’ve notched a win on the road and have brought themselves into a tie for third. To beat Maine on the road after fumbling away is a huge sign of maturity we’ve been waiting for- and one I’m sure the team needed for it’s psyche. This team believes it can beat anyone in the league.

Down early, the Danes could’ve folded with no harm, no problem. Instead, they magically pulled even off of a RALPH WATTS dunk. WHAT!? Then, Mike Black lifted off in overtime. He was glorious. 26 points, 5 treys, 5 assists, only one turnover. He won the POW award- and he damn well should have- the performance was one of the best all season for any AE player.

Luke Devlin again showed why his toughness has transformed this team- head bleeding from an elbow, he returns five stitches later to notch his workman-like double double. Metcalf is thriving in his starting role, 12 boards and 5 offensive. He just gets his hand on the basketball and makes things happen.

The big three all contributed again and, especially if Black continues to shoot lights out (he’s playing as well as anyone in the league right now) Danes will be a tough, tough out.

But first, a quick preview of Stony Brook matchup:


Check out Stony Brooks last two games according to kenpom– what sticks out? Their offensive went from being unable to score against a girls modified basketball team to churning out some nice offensive numbers. You scoff- Bingo! Ha! Congrats for beating them at home! But how about that Hartford game, at Hartford, the location where the tournament will be played…. but that’s not my point. My point is Chris Martin. Chris Martin who torched UAlbany in the tournament last year with his driving ability and who has missed most of the season- but has been back the last two games. So? He’s had 4 and 6 assists. It might not seem by much, but an athletic driving guard takes the ball out of Do-er’s hands,  draws in the defense and lets Hayes, Do-er and even Carter take uncontested set shots. If UAlbany looks ahead at all towards Vermont and doesn’t bring it defensively, the sweep of SUNY schools could be short lived.

~ by TheMidRangeGame on March 1, 2011.

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