Wednesday, January 9, 2008

University of Albany Men's Basketball Posts a 80-64 Win at Stony Brook in America East Play

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Stony Brook, N.Y. - Brian Lillis had 19 points and Brent Wilson added 18 to pace five players in double figures in leading UAlbany to an 80-64 victory over Stony Brook in America East Conference play on Wednesday evening at Stony Brook Arena. The Great Danes snapped a six-game road losing streak and posted consecutive wins for the first time since November.

UAlbany (7-8, AE 2-1) had its 21-point halftime lead sliced to 46-34 when Emanuel Neto made a baseline jumper. But the Great Danes regrouped with 11 of the game's next 13 points. Jon Iati, who had 11 points off the bench, sank a long-range jumper to ignite that stretch. Wilson, who equaled a career-high with six 3-pointers, went long distance for a 57-36 lead midway through the stanza.

Stony Brook (4-11, AE 1-2) made one more run at the lead behind the play of Ricky Lucas, who had 15 points. Chris Martin's three-pointer closed the gap to 65-55 with 2:58 remaining. UAlbany used the free throw line to hold off the comeback attempt. Martin and Demetrius Young tallied 12 and 10 points, respectively. The Great Danes' Jerel Hastings had a career game with 11 points and nine rebounds. Brian Connelly was the fifth player in twin figures with 11.

"We played unselfish basketball with great effort in the first half,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown, whose team last won an away game on November 14. “In the second half, we probably played too much zone and kind of put it in cruise control. Brent Wilson shot the ball well and we got to the line. It's nice to get a road win."

The first half began with seven lead changes over the opening five minutes. Young, who scored 10 in the period, gave Stony Brook a 10-7 advantage. But the Great Danes came back with 13 unanswered fueled by Wilson's long-range shooting. Wilson, a 6'8" forward, put his team ahead with a 3-pointer from the right wing, and later dialed up another one from beyond the arc.

"Jon (Iati) and I love it when other teams play zone,” said Wilson, who last made six three-pointers against Sacred Heart on Nov. 21, 2006. “It's just good to get a win on the road and good to go home 2-1 (in the league)."

UAlbany later led 26-16, but stretched out that margin with nine consecutive points. Hastings began that spurt with a baseline jumper. Tim Ambrose canned a 3-pointer from the left wing to end the run. Iati pushed the lead to 38-18 when he beat the shot clock with a 23-footer from left of the key.

"That's the way we need to play,” said Iati, who scored in double figures for the first time in one month. “We need to have a sense of urgency all the time. Our zone (defense) kept them off balance. We did a good job of finding the gaps and throwing skip passes against their zone."

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