My message to the players today was great. The question is why, and how do we do it again!”– UAlbany Coach Dwayne Killings
Coming into tonight game the story line is both teams needed a win, as both schools are in the bottom of their conference. Coach Strickland and the Sharks are looking for a win as they have lost seven straight, with their most recent loss to top ranked U-Conn 114-61. They are second to last in the conference, the Great Danes on the other hand are also looking to break their four game losing streak, with their most recent loss to Big East opponent Providence 93-55. The Great Danes are also second to last in the American East and needed a win desperately.
This game started off with UAlbany setting the pace and tone with a 6-0 run, forcing the Sharks to call a timeout at the 17:10 mark. LIU responded after the timeout and they went on a run and eventually took the lead at the 11:40 mark 11-10, turnovers were the key, as they were defending UAlbany well and guard Quion burns had provided the spark leading the team with six points. For most of the first half it was a back and forth battle, as expected. Midway through the first half UAlbany had taken the lead once again as they responded with their own run. This time Aaron Reddish was the leader as he led the way with the charge, he ended up with nine points midway through the half and maybe got a little to excited, as he received a technical.
Coach Killings stated that it was translated to him the Reddish was being a little to verbal on the floor and a little to excited and that’s why he took him out of the game. Even though the Great Danes had the lead 23-20, it was still a back and forth match. At this point it was looking like this game was going to go down to the last minute. By halftime the game had two more lead changes and the Great Danes only had a one point lead 32-31. As good as Reddish was playing, Drumgoole was the leading scorer with 11 for UAlbany and Marko Maletic was leading LIU with 12. Marko Maletic was the key and one of the major reasons why LIU was in this game.
By the second half both teams picked up right where they left off at. Both playing physical, aggressive and playing great on both sides of the floor. With 12 minutes left in the second half it was still a close game. UAlbany was only up 45-43. As close as the game was, the great Danes had the momentum and it showed after the timeout. One of the major reasons LIU was still in the game was, Marko Maletic. Who at this point had 18 points and was looking like he was going to continue being a problem for the Great Danes.
After the timeout he was held to two points and to make matters worse they were losing the turnover battle. By midway through the second half they had completely unraveled. By the next timeout at the 7 minute mark UAlbany had created 18 turnovers and had outscored LIU 30-18. Developing a 13 point lead (62-49). With two minutes and forty one seconds left, UAlbany had sealed the game by this point. LIU had only scored two more points, since the last timeout. The Great Danes now had a 22 point lead (77-53). At the end UAlbany walked away with a 76-59 victory. Ending their four game losing streak and with three players scoring in double digits (Drumgoogle, Reedish, Beagle and Edmead). Next up for the Great Danes is Loyola Chicago who is on a two game winning streak and looking to continue it Sunday, we will see, stay tuned!