“I want to apologize for the people that came out in the cold today and saw that performance today”UAlbany Men’s basketball coach Dwayne Killings comments after the 87-68 loss to Vermont
The theme going into this game was that it was the purple growl. One of UAlbany’s biggest turnout games for the season. The attendance for the game was 2,014, and it was a critical game for two reasons. One it was against longtime rival/nemesis. Second, if they did not win this game their shot at making the American Eastern Conference tournament was over.
The Great Danes not only had the pressure of winning but they are also trying to rebound from their last defeat against Umass Lowell 66-50. Vermont on the other hand, was coming off a bye week. On top of that they were first place in the conference.
When the game started Vermont jumped out to a 12-2 lead. Forcing the Great Danes to call a timeout in the first five minutes of the game. By the second timeout UAlbany had become more competitive. They had scored five points to Vermont’s nine. This would have been a step in the right direction unfortunately it did not put a dent into the lead. Now they were trailing by 16 (23-7).
Halfway through the 7 minute mark things did not seem to be getting any better. The Great Danes were still trailing by double digits 30-15. Coming out of the timeout Vermont responded by going on a 10-2 run. Answering UAlbany tough play to get back into the game. This time when coach Killings called a timeout, the Great Danes were now trailing by 23 (40-17). They attempted to make another run by halftime. Cutting the lead from 23 to 19, but the damage had already been done.
When halftime hit it was all Vermont. As they had ended the half with a 19 point lead (44-25). They were out shooting, and out rebounding Albany. UAlbany on the other hand was having issues on both sides of the ball. They could not stop anybody and they could not score. The Great Danes were only shooting 28 percent from the field to Vermont 66 percent.
By the 11:45 mark Vermont had scored and created a 31 point lead (70-39). After the game a clearly frustrated coach Dwayne Killings apologized for the team’s performance. He also called the team’s defense atrocious! He even addressed how some of the players were not taking advantage of the opportunities that were given to them being on the floor. Coach spoke on the commitment that is needed from some of the players. He highlighted freshman guard Marcus Jackson, who he stated was in the gym in the morning before everybody else including the coach.
With their seventh straight loss in the conference and after a blowout like that, things were not going to get any easier!