Tuesday, November 27, 2012

UAlbany's SEFCU Arena Chosen to Host the 2014 America East Conference Men's & Women's Basketball Championship

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Already set to host the 2013 America East Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championship, University at Albany’s SEFCU Arena has been chosen as the site for the 2014 tournament. The conference’s Athletic Directors voted to keep the championship in Albany for 2014 on Wednesday. “Based on early ticket sales, the response from sponsors and potential media partners, as well as the growing excitement for the 2013 championship, it was an easy decision yesterday for our membership to commit to returning to Albany for our 2014 championship,” said America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. The 2014 America East Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will be held during the first full week of March in 2014 at SEFCU Arena, Albany’s 4,538-seat on-campus facility. Early round action for both the men and women will be held at the combined tournament, while the title games will again both be held the following weekend at the site of the highest remaining seeds. “We are ecstatic that the University at Albany will be hosting this championship in both 2013 and 2014,” said Albany Vice President & Director of Athletics Lee McElroy. “The excitement that is building on our campus, in the Capital Region and in other markets across America East’s footprint for the 2013 championship motivated the membership to act on this now and we are thrilled they have. It will allow us to build on what we expect to be a first-class tournament for America East, its schools, student-athletes and fans, as well as the Capital Region, and make it even better for 2014.” Nearly $15,000 worth of all-session packages for the 2013 championship has already been sold. In addition, America East and Albany jointly announced that SEFCU will serve at the presenting sponsor for the 2013 championship. “The basketball championship is our signature event every year and committing to the same venue for consecutive years now opens endless possibilities to enhance the tournament experience for everyone involved,” continued Huchthausen. “The University at Albany and the Capital District have embraced this event with open arms and we look forward to outstanding tournaments each of the next two years.” This year’s tournament, which will be presented by SEFCU, will begin on Friday, March 8 with women’s quarterfinal action. The men’s quarterfinals are scheduled for Saturday, March 9 and both the men’s and women’s semifinal tilts will take place Sunday, March 10. The highest seeds remaining in both the men’s and women’s tournament will host the championship games with the men’s title game on Saturday, March 16 and the women’s final tentatively set for that same day. While 2013 will be the first time SEFCU Arena hosts the conference’s combined championship, the building is no stranger towards hosting America East Championships. The building, which, opened in the spring of 1992 as an $11 million state-of-the-art facility, hosted the 2009 Men’s Basketball Championship and drew nearly 15,000 fans, the second-most since 2002. SEFCU Arena, formerly the Recreation & Convocation Center, also hosted the 2006 men’s championship game, as well as the 2012 women’s championship game, which drew more fans than any league title contest since 2006. All-session packages for the 2013 America East Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championship presented by SEFCU are already on sale and can be obtained online or by calling the University at Albany ticket office at 518-442-DANE (3263). Fans can also visit Championship Central for more tournament information. About the America East Conference Now in its fourth decade of operation, the America East Conference has evolved into one of the most comprehensive NCAA Division I conferences in the country with a commitment to broad-based, competitive athletics programs, complementing the academic integrity and missions of the member institutions. Progressive in its approach to its more than 3,400 student-athletes, America East recognizes champions in each of its 20 sports. America East also conducts the nation’s most comprehensive academic recognition program for student-athletes and collaborates on several community service initiatives throughout its geographic footprint each year. With members spanning from the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast regions of the United States, America East strives to develop champions in academics, athletics and leadership at its nine member institutions: University at Albany, Binghamton University, Boston University, University of Hartford, University of Maine, UMBC, University of New Hampshire, Stony Brook University and University of Vermont.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

UAlbany's Megan Craig Scores a Career-High 27 Points to Lead Women's Basketball to a 62-49 Win Over Dartmouth - UAlbany Sports 2012

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information ALBANY, N.Y. -- Center Megan Craig scored a career-high 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting to lead UAlbany to a 62-49 win over Dartmouth in non-conference women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at SEFCU Arena. The Great Danes improved to 3-2 on the season, while the Big Green fell to 1-2. Dartmouth started the game with an 11-2 run over the first five minutes of play, but the Great Danes kicked it into high gear, outscoring the Big Green, 21-2, over the next ten minutes. UAlbany scored 13 straight points before Dartmouth ended the rally, before the Great Danes scored the next nine points of the game. Faziah Steen hit a jumper for the Big Green to attempt to get Dartmouth back on track, and nailed two free throws at 3:41 to cut the lead to seven, 25-18. However, Ebone Henry and Sarah Royals scored on back-to-back layups to put UAlbany back on top by 12 with under a minute to go. Abbey Schmitt connected on two free throws to cut the lead back to 10, 30-20, before halftime. UAlbany came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders, building up a 40-21 lead behind eight straight points from Craig, along with a layup by Julie Forster, with 14:35 to play. Steen played the roll of rally-ender again for Dartmouth, hitting two free throws, but Craig responded immediately after at the other end of the court, to keep UAlbany ahead. Dartmouth succeeded in cutting the lead to 12, 45-33, with nine minutes on the clock, as Kamala Thompson recorded a steal and a layup. UAlbany would not fold, as Lindsey Lowrie nailed a 3-pointer with 7:28 to play, but the Big Green cut the lead back to 10 on a jumper by Thompson with 4:22 on the clock. The Great Danes continued to pressure, and Erin Coughlin scored UAlbany's final five points on two free throws and a 3-pointer. Nicola Zimmer scored the last basket of the game to set the final 13-point deficit. Steen scored a team-high 15 points for Dartmouth, while Thompson added 10 points for the Big Green. UAlbany held Dartmouth to 31.3-percent (15-48) shooting from the floor, forcing the Big Green into 26 turnovers. Besides her career-high point total, Craig added nine rebounds, one assist, and one block, while Forster recorded eight points, seven boards, and a career-high seven steals. Henry also contributed with nine points, four assists, four steals, and two blocks in 32 minutes of action. UAlbany shot 43.6-percent (24-55) from the floor, finishing with 13 steals, despite being out-rebounded by Dartmouth, 40-35. UAlbany will return to action on Wednesday, hosting NJIT in non-conference action at SEFCU Arena at 7 p.m.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

UAlbany FCS Football Earns Nine All-NEC Honors - UAlbany Sports 2012

SOMERSET, N.J. – After winning a share of the Northeast Conference title last weekend and boasting the best record the program has ever seen at the Division I FCS level, the University at Albany football team had nine players awarded all-conference honors, announced by the league office Wednesday evening. The Great Danes had six named to the first team -- Drew Smith, Kadeem Williams, Ocieka Bakou, Jon Morgan, Leon Saddler, and Paul Layton – and three to the second team in Ryan Kirchner, Anthony Bazzoffi, and Dean Mercuris. Senior tailback Drew Smith capped a historic career with three rushing touchdowns in Week 12, making him the all-time leader for touchdowns scored (45) and co-leader for all-time rushing touchdowns (40). In four active seasons, Smith accrued 3,196 career rushing yards and 4,721 all-purpose yards, both good for second all-time. This season, the Schenectady, N.Y. native eclipsed the 1,000 rushing yards mark for the second time in his career and the 10th time in program history, rushing for 1,001 yards and 18 touchdowns, while totaling 1,280 all-purpose yards. Smith also led the NEC and ranked fourth at the FCS level for scoring (11.40). The honor marks his second all-conference selection in as many years. Likewise, senior Ryan Kirchner earned second-team honors for the second year in a row. Kirchner is UAlbany’s all-time receptions leader hauling in 172 career catches. This season, Kirchner led the squad with 50 receptions for 578 yards, while scoring three touchdowns. He was also the Great Danes’ top punt returner, totaling 100 yards on special teams. Offensive linemen junior Kadeem Williams earned his second consecutive first-team all-NEC award, while senior Anthony Bazzoffi was named to the second team. The duo helped UAlbany to the league’s top-ranked scoring offense (34.1), and limited opponent sacks to just 1.45 per game. Bazzoffi capped his career with his first career touchdown in the season finale, rushing across the goal line from the one-yard line. Earning first-team honors for the second straight season, senior inside linebacker Jon Morgan led UAlbany with 72 tackles, three interceptions, and two blocked kicks this fall. The Copiague, N.Y. native finished his career ranked eighth all-time at UAlbany with 265 career tackles. Senior defensive tackle Ocieka Bakou totaled 28 tackles this fall, while also making a number of big turnover plays, putting himself on the conference’s first team. Bakou forced and recovered two fumbles, blocked two punts (both against Colgate), and returned a fumbled for a touchdown in the Great Danes’ title win over Central Connecticut State. In his career, Bakou accrued 95 tackles and 7.5 sacks. Fellow defensive lineman senior Dean Mercuris also earned conference honors. Mercuris ranked fourth on the squad with 49 tackles this season, as well as two sacks, an interception, six pass breakups, and one fumble recovery. Earning his second all-NEC honor in his career, senior cornerback Leon Saddler tallied 36 tackles, a team-high 10 pass breakups, and a fumble recovery this fall. Saddler totaled 125 tackles in his career with the Great Danes, as well as two interceptions. Junior Paul Layton averaged 40.4 yards per punt this fall, including a program record 82-yarder against Wagner. Through three seasons, Layton currently owns a program-best average of 41.0 yards per punt in his career (159 punts, 6,519 yards). In the 14 seasons UAlbany competed in the Northeast Conference, the Great Danes earned 137 first or second team all-conference honors. An end to an era, UAlbany will compete in the Colonial Athletic Association next year. UAlbany’s nine honorees this fall marked the most all-NEC selections of any team, with Wagner and Duquesne each claiming eight. The recipients of all honors were determined by a vote of the conference’s nine head coaches.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

UAlbany Field Hockey's Jessica Longstreth Named NFHCA Division I Second Team All-American - UAlbany Sports 2012

ALBANY, N.Y. -- UAlbany senior Jessica Longstreth was named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I All-America Second Team, as announced by the organization. Longstreth, a native of Richboro, Pa,) led the conference in assists this season with 17 and was fifth in the country in assists per game (.81). A graduate student, Longstreth was named America East Player of the Week in back to back weeks this season, as she helped Albany capture its third title in five years. The midfielder was a unanimous First-Team All-Conference selection.

Men's Basketball Makes It Rain At South Carolina State - UAlbany Sports 2012

ORANGEBURG, S.C. - The saying goes, "When it rains, it pours", and that is exactly what happened as the University at Albany shot 15-of-29 from three-point range to beat South Carolina State, 83-55, on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Center. The 15 made threes by the Great Danes broke the Division I record of 14, which was done twice before and most recently against Detroit on Nov. 26, 2010. Senior guard Mike Black paced his squad with a season-high 23 points and six assists, shooting 9-of-11 from the field. Guards Jacob Iati and Jayson Guerrier each scored in double digits with 14 and 18, respectively. Black, Iati, and Guerrier shot a combined 56.5 percent (13-for-23) from behind the arc. South Carolina State (3-2) had four players score in double figures. Shaquille Mitchell led the Bulldogs with 13 points and three rebounds. Khalif Toombs, Adama Adams, and Darryl Palmer tallied 12, 12, and 10 points in the game. UAlbany (4-2) opened up the first half with a bang, which came at the hot hand of Guerrier. The senior guard made the game's first four shots to put the Great Danes up 11-0 with 15:16 remaining in the first half. The Great Danes then hit six three's and put-back dunk by junior guard Gary Johnson to extend its lead to 21, 39-18, with 5:39 left in the half. Both teams would trade baskets for the final five minutes and UAlbany held on to a 20-point lead going into the half, 45-25. The Great Danes began the second half on a 15-6 run to hold a 29-point lead, 60-31, with 15:24 left in the game. Black and Iati combined for three triples and sophomore forward Sam Rowley made two consecutive layups to cap the run. South Carolina State responded with its own run of 18-9 to cut the deficit to 20, 69-49, with 5:46 remaining. Mitchell scored eight of his team's game-high 13 points during the stretch. However, UAlbany held off the Bulldogs for the final 5:45 to grab its fourth win of the season. The Great Danes outshot the Bulldogs from the floor, 53.4 percent to 43.9 percent and out rebounded them 37-26 on the boards. The Great Danes prepare for their next contest against Wagner on Monday, Nov. 26 at SEFCU Arena.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lowrie Scores 17 Points to Lead UAlbany Women's Basketball to 68-54 Win Over Western Michigan - UAlbany Sports 2012

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Lindsey Lowrie scored a game-high 17 points, on 5-of-9 shooting from behind the 3-point line to lead UAlbany to a 68-54 win over Western Michigan in non-conference women's basketball action on Sunday afternoon at University Arena. Great Danes had a slow start to the game, getting down 10-4, with five fouls called in the first 6 minutes of play. UAlbany cut the score back to 14-13 on two free throws by Tammy Phillip, but the Broncos continued to roll, getting two 3-pointers from Julia Henderson to open the game up and take a 20-13 lead with 11:18 to play in the first half. The Great Danes battled back behind Megan Craig, who scored five of the next seven points, pulling the score back to 22-20 with 8:57 on the clock. UAlbany continued to fight through the end of the first half, as both Shereesha Richards and Sarah Royals went 2-for-2 from the free throw line to end the half, sending the teams to the locker rooms tied, 27-27. UAlbany came out of the halftime break firing, taking a seven-point lead, 40-33, on a trey by Lindsey Lowrie with just under 16 minutes to play. Two good free throws from Ebone Henry gave the Great Danes their first double-digit lead of the game, 44-33, with 14:33 on the clock. Western Michigan (1-2) attempted to rally, but UAlbany kept ahead by double-digits, getting a 3-pointer by Lowrie to keep a 54-44 lead with just over eight minutes to play. The Broncos tried to rally, getting a layup by A.J. Johnson to cut the Western Michigan deficit to eight, 56-48, but Lowrie nailed consecutive baskets - including one from long range - to put the Great Danes back ahead by 13, 48-61, with 4:21 on the clock. Royals helped UAlbany extend its lead to 15 with two free throws, while Phillip and Lowrie combined for five straight points to give the Great Danes their biggest lead of the game, 68-52 with 36 ticks to go. Western Michigan got a couple of baskets late to set the final score, but the UAlbany defense held on for the 14-point victory. "This win was a total team effort," said UAlbany head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, who has guided the Great Danes to a 2-1 record in the early season. "We got in foul trouble early and had players like [Shereesha] Richards and [Keyana] Williams step up. I was proud of how well we came together for a strong second half." Craig added 13 points for UAlbany, for her second-straight double-digit point total. Julie Forster finished with nine points and seven boards, while Ebone Henry added four points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals. UAlbany (2-1) will return to action on Wednesday, visiting Michigan State in non-conference action.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Champs! UAlbany FCS Football Wins Sixth NEC Title With, 63-34, Victory Over Central Connecticut - UAlbany Sports 2012

ALBANY, N.Y. – In an afternoon of lasts – the last game of University Field’s 43 seasons, the last played in the Northeast Conference, the last at home for the squad’s 21 seniors, and the last of the 2012 regular season – the University at Albany football team made it memorable with a 63-34 win over Central Connecticut State. The victory earned the Great Danes their sixth NEC title in their 14 years in the league, sharing the championship with Wagner who overcame Duquesne, 23-17, earlier in the day. In a pregame ceremony, the team’s seniors were honored one-by-one in front of a crowd of 1,876. In the last five years, the class as a whole amassed a 39-18 overall record, 31-8 mark in the NEC, three NEC titles, while leading the squad to the program’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1977 – done in 2011 – and to the program’s highest rank in the national polls earlier this season. A member of that impressive class, senior tailback Drew Smith, capped a historic career with three rushing touchdowns, making him the all-time leader for touchdowns scored (45) and co-leader for all-time rushing touchdowns (40). In four active seasons, Smith accrued 3,196 career rushing yards and 4,721 all-purpose yards, both good for second all-time. Against CCSU, Smith finished the day with 65 rushing yards on 18 carries with 110 all-purpose yards. “You only hope to have a career that I’ve had,” said Smith. “I’m proud of it. No regrets. I’m just blessed.” Senior kicker Sean Kenny tied the program’s single-game record with nine successful point-after kicks. He also kicked off 10 times, totaling 588 yards. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Will Fiacchi completed 13-of-17 passes with one interception and one touchdown, totaling 242 passing yards. With a well-balanced offensive output, senior Ryan Kirchner led the team with four receptions for 45 yards, bringing his program record total to 172 career catches. Smith hauled in three, also for 45 yards, while Cole King grabbed two for 63 yards. Omar Osbourne scored two touchdowns for the Danes, catching a 58-yard pass for the score, while also rushing for one as well. Junior Kevin Chillis led the squad with 118 all-purpose yards, including a 79-yard kickoff return for a touchdown – the program’s first since 2006. While UAlbany’s offense had a spectacular game, the defense shone as well, forcing five fumbles, recovering four, including two recovered for touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Cory Connell had the first, giving the Great Danes a 42-0 head start on his 40-yard run. Senior Ocieka Bakou had the second, a 45-yard jaunt, capping the Danes at 63 points in the third quarter. Classmates Dean Mercuris and Chris Wilk led the squad with six tackles apiece. Mercuris also recovered one of the loose balls and made five solo tackles, including one for a loss. UAlbany put up 42 unanswered points in the first half, a Division I FCS era record for the program. With 9:13 left in the first, Smith rushed one yard into the end zone to get the scoring going. It was done one play after junior Andrew Smith sacked CCSU quarterback Andrew Clements and forced a fumble that was recovered by redshirt freshman Zach Troutman on UA’s one-yard line. "We played great, executed great," said Drew Smith. "There were no doubts about it from kickoff." Osbourne followed with a 16-yard run, capping an eight-play, 86-yard drive with 4:12 remaining in the opening quarter to give the Great Danes a 14-0 lead. With everything still flowing in UAlbany’s favor, Smith crossed the goal line again with a four-yard rush with 12:58 to go in the half. On the Great Danes’ next possession, Fiacchi connected with Osbourne for a 58-yard passing touchdown, a one-play, 12 second possession, at the 6:00 minute mark in the second. Forcing the Blue Devils to punt away at the end of their next drive, the Great Danes capitalized once again, as Smith rushed for his third touchdown of the day with a three-yard run at the 2:53 mark. UAlbany stretched the lead to 42-0 after Jake Dwyer hacked the ball loose from Clements at CCSU’s 40. From there, Connell picked it up and ran it to the end zone with 2:05 remaining. The Blue Devils broke their scoring drought with four seconds on the clock before halftime, as Clements rushed one yard, capping an eight-play, 63-yard drive. UAlbany led 42-7 at the half. Not letting up, Chillis started the second stanza in style for the Danes, slicing through the special teams unit 79-yards for a touchdown. CCSU’s Clements had another one-yard rush across the goal line to cut the deficit to 35 points, 49-14, with 8:06 on the clock in the third. However, the Great Danes followed with the two most exciting touchdowns of the game. With second-and-goal Fiacchi connected a 21-yard pass to Smith. With a clear path into the end zone, instead of running for it, Smith ran out of bounds purposely at the one, so senior offensive lineman Anthony Bazzoffi could have a chance for his first career touchdown. On third-and-goal, Bazzoffi powered through into the end zone and the sideline erupted. “It’s a great feeling,” said Bazzoffi. “I never thought this day would come.” Just 18 seconds later, a fumble by Clements was picked up by Bakou. The senior ran 45-yards for his first career touchdown, as well, with 1:08 left in the third quarter, giving UAlbany a 49-point lead, 63-14. From there, the Blue Devils scored the final points of the afternoon, as Deven Baker caught a 57-yard touchdown pass to start the fourth quarter. With 8:16 remaining, Chuck Watson intercepted Jake Meek’s pass and ran it back 70 yards, cutting the margin to 36, 63-27. With 2:36 on the clock, Deven Baker capped the game’s high-scoring affair with a 15-yard reception, after an eight-play, 92-yard drive. With the sound of the final whistle, UAlbany wrapped up its final clash on University Field – the home of the Great Danes since Bob Ford started a club football team in 1970. With the transition to the Colonial Athletic Association, the Great Danes will move to Bob Ford Field, a brand new 8,000 seat stadium, next year. The Great Danes close the 2012 regular season and possibly the 40th year of varsity football at UAlbany with a 7-1 conference record and 9-2 overall mark, signifying a record number of regular season wins in the Division I FCS era. While Wagner won the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Great Danes will be on the bubble for an at-large bid. The selection show airs at 1:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

UAlbany Football Seeks NEC Championship Saturday Vs. Central Connecticut

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Heading into the last game of the 2012 regular season tied for first-place in the Northeast Conference standings, the University at Albany football team will no doubt leave it all on the line as they play at University Field one last time and compete for an NEC championship. Kickoff versus Central Connecticut State will be at 1:00 p.m. with a pregame ceremony honoring the Great Danes' 21 seniors.


Cheer from the Stands: Don't miss out on the purple and gold spirit. Click here for ticket information. (Promotions: Pop Warner, Military Appreciation Day, Wounded Warriors).

Listen: The game can be heard in the Capital Region on FOX Sports 980AM or anywhere online here. To listen on your mobile device, download the iHeartRadio app and search for FOX Sports 980. Rodger Wyland and Zach Bye will have the call.

Watch at Home: Saturday's action will be video streamed live on Dane Zone.

Tweet: Follow @UAlbanySports on Twitter for live updates, photos and highlights.

Live Stats: Live stats can be found here. A full recap and box score will be available at the conclusion of the game at UAlbanySports.com.

Game Notes: An in-depth look at the weekend's matchup.


The Great Danes (6-1) have one NEC game left on the schedule, facing Central Connecticut State (2-4). First-place Wagner (6-1) also has one game left against Duquesne. Here are UAlbany's championship scenarios...

• If UAlbany wins and Wagner loses, the Great Danes will capture their sixth NEC title and make their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

• If UAlbany wins and Wagner wins, the Great Danes will share the NEC title with Wagner, but Wagner will earn the postseason berth after winning the head-to-head battle on Nov. 3rd (30-0).

• If UAlbany loses and Wagner loses, the Great Danes will share the NEC title with Wagner, but the Seahawks will earn the postseason bid.

• If UAlbany loses and Wagner wins, Wagner will be the NEC champion.


UAlbany leads the all-time series, 11-5, dating back to 1995. Seven games have been decided by five points or less with UAlbany owning a 3-4 record in those contests. The Great Danes' 11 victories have been by an average margin of 17.5 points, while the five losses have only been by an average of 3.6 points. Last season, UAlbany had its best offensive game of the season, as quarterback Dan Di Lella threw for a school record five touchdowns to five different receivers, leading the Danes to a 63-35 win at CCSU. The last time these teams met at University Field, the Blue Devils edged UAlbany, 30-27, in overtime. CCSU scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a touchdown with successful two-point conversion with 36 seconds left in regulation to tie the ballgame. In overtime, the Great Danes fumbled and Central Connecticut won the contest with a 32-yard field goal.


• UAlbany (8-2, 6-1) is tied with Wagner (7-3, 6-1) in the NEC standings.

• The Great Danes were ranked as high as No. 18 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 20 in the Sports Network Top-25 before falling out of both polls after losing to Wagner.

• In their 14th and last season in the NEC, the Great Danes own a 77-24 cumulative record in league play.

• Moving to a brand new stadium next season, UAlbany plays its last game on University Field Saturday. The Danes own a 134-67-1 mark on their home gridiron.

• The Great Danes have reached the 8-win plateau for the fifth time in the FCS era. A win against CCSU will tie the program record for wins in a season, and also mark the first time UAlbany has won nine games in a Division I regular season.

• UAlbany was chosen to repeat as Northeast Conference Champions.

• Six Great Danes were placed on the All-NEC Preseason Team.

• Last season, the Great Danes received their first NCAA FCS Playoff berth and advanced to the NCAAs for the first time since 1977.

• UAlbany finished 2011 ranked 23rd in the FCS Coaches Poll and was just off the TSN's Top-25, receiving votes.

• Senior Ryan Kirchner is UAlbany's all-time leading receiver with 168 career catches.

• Tailback Drew Smith is tied for first in program history with 42 career touchdowns scored.

• UAlbany has won or shared five Northeast Conference championships (2002, 2003, 2007, 2008 & 2011).

• UAlbany kicked off its 40th season of varsity football vs. Colgate on Sept 1. The 40-23 win, improved the Great Danes' record to 5-9 in season-openers in the Division I FCS era.

• The Great Danes have registered seven consecutive winning seasons for the first time in the program's history (2006-11).

• Bob Ford is fourth among the FCS all-time leaders in career victories and is first among active NCAA Division I FCS coaches with 263 career victories.

• Ford is in his 40th varsity season as head coach at UAlbany with a 254-159 record.

• The National Football League's New York Giants have made the UAlbany campus its summer training camp home since 1996.


2012 Record: 8-2, 6-1 NEC (T-1st)

2011 Record: 8-4, 7-1 NEC (T-1st)

NEC Preseason Poll: 1st

Head Coach: Bob Ford (40th season at UAlbany/44th overall) (254-159-0 / 263-180-1 / 77-24 NEC)

THE COACH: Bob Ford is in his 40th season at the helm, coming off his fifth Northeast Conference title in 2011 and fourth NEC Coach of the Year Award. He ranks first among all active NCAA Division I FCS coaches with 263 career victories and is also fourth among the FCS all-time leaders in career victories.

LAST TIME OUT: In a game divided, UAlbany overcame the hosting Duquesne University Dukes, 38-31, last Saturday afternoon at Rooney Field. The Great Danes came out with a vengeance in the opening half, taking a 35-7 lead at the break, but the Dukes came storming back, scoring the first 17 points of the second stanza. By halftime, the Great Danes had five touchdowns to their name, credited to five different players. UAlbany finished the game with 439 yards of total offense and 24 first downs. Drew Smith led the Great Danes' running game with 143 yards on 25 carries, and totaled 164 all-purpose yards, including two catches. Omar Osbourne also crossed the goal line and rushed 80 yards, while finishing with 102 all-purpose yards. Likewise, Kevin Chillis was credited a touchdown, accumulating 64 rushing yards in the win. Will Fiachhi completed 14-of-22 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Cole King was his top receiver with three catches, including one for a score, and 54 receiving yards. Defensively, Chris Wilk led the squad with seven unassisted tackles and a sack, while Jon Morgan dropped five, snagged an interception, and blocked a punt. Senior Dean Mercuris also had a solid game with five tackles, a sack, a pass break up, and two quarterback hurries.

THE SEASON SO FAR: The Great Danes enter Week 12 with an 8-2 record and 6-1 NEC mark.

Week 1: UAlbany overcame Colgate handily, 40-23, as Drew Smith (174) and Omar Osbourne (113) both rushed for over 100 yards, and the Ocieka Bakou blocked two punts that resulted in a safety and a touchdown.

Week 2: After opening the season at home for the first time since 2005, UAlbany hit the road for three consecutive away games, traveling over 400 miles for each of them. First, the Great Danes overcame Robert Morris, 35-10, capturing their first Northeast Conference victory of the season. Sophomore quarterback Will Fiacchi had a breakout game along with wide receiver Cole King. Fiacchi finished 17-for-21, throwing 208 yards, rushing 35, and tallied four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) in the win. All three passing touchdowns were to King who totaled 124 receiving yards on five catches.

Week 3: The Great Danes headed west again to Youngstown, Ohio, taking on the No. 5 Penguins. Despite a hard fought battle, the hosts held off UAlbany, 31-24, handing the Great Danes their only loss of the season. The Great Danes were neck-and-neck with Youngstown State until the Guins opened up a two-score lead with 2:48 remaining in the fourth quarter. UAlbany held an early 7-0 lead over Youngstown in a game that was tied on three separate occasions, but a YSU field goal with 2:15 left in the third quarter gave the Penguins the lead for good. Fiacchi and King both had spectacular games again, as Fiacchi accumulated 228 passing yards (23-35-0), and King hauled in a touchdown and seven catches for 115 receiving yards.

Week 4: On the road for the third consecutive weekend, UAlbany overcame No. 23 Maine, 30-20, marking the Great Danes' first victory over a ranked opponent since Sept. 19, 2009 when they also beat Maine (ranked 20th), 20-16. Kicker Sean Kenny made a name for himself, tying the program record with three made field goals in the contest, representing the first nine points of the game. Senior tailback Drew Smith led the offense with 114 rushing yards on 18 carries, 144 all-purpose yards, and two touchdowns, while Kevin Chillis rushed twice for 88 yards total and accumulated 158 all-purpose yards.

Week 5: The Great Danes had a dominating performance against NEC foe Monmouth, overcoming the Hawks, 55-24, at University Field. After trailing 7-0 to start the game, a fake punt reverse resulting in Kevin Chillis' 77-yard TD dash turned the tides and UAlbany never looked back. Combining for 263 rushing yards, senior Drew Smith piloted the ground game with 109 rushing yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns in the victory. Chillis added two touchdowns and 196 all-purpose yards. Three Great Dane players (Smith, Chillis, Beauvais) single-handedly out-rushed the Monmouth team as a whole, as the Hawks managed just 53 rushing yards against the UAlbany defense. Quarterback Will Fiacchi completed 16-of-30 attempts for 248 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Ryan Kirchner was the go-to man of the afternoon, hauling in five passes for 121 yards and a score. Senior Jon Morgan led the team with seven tackles, including six solo, while also breaking up two passes. Chris Wilk brought down five, as Dean Mercuris, Jake Dwyer, and Tramaine Wilson recorded interceptions and ran for over 10 yards each.

Week 6: UAlbany captured a 31-14 win at Bryant University on Oct. 6th. Trailing 14-7 at halftime, the Great Danes rallied to score the final 21 points of the contest. Senior wide receiver Ryan Kirchner became the all-time receptions leader at UAlbany, breaking Tim Bush's record of 147 as he recorded seven receptions for 103 yards in the win. Fellow senior Drew Smith finished the day with 104 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. Smith currently ranks first in the nation with 12 touchdowns this fall. Sophomore Will Fiacchi continued to impress in his first year as starting quarterback, as he totaled a career-high 262 passing yards, completing 23-of-34 pass attempts to keep the Great Danes perfect in league play. UAlbany's defense was outstanding as they held Bryant to the lowest single-game rushing output (27 yards) in a NEC contest thus far this season. The Bulldogs' 11 first downs also marked a NEC season low. Defensively, Jon Morgan and Kyle Jordan led the squad with five tackles apiece, while Tim Kologrivov added three, including two for a loss. Justinian Mason had the key play of the game; picking off a pass and running the interception back 75 yards for a touchdown.

Week 7: In front of 6,852 fans, marking the third-largest home crowd in program history and largest since 1978, UAlbany overcame the visiting Saint Francis Red Flash on Homecoming, 36-13. The Great Danes battled back from a 10-0 deficit to outscore the Red Flash, 36-3, the rest of the way. For the third straight game, Drew Smith blasted his way into the end zone three different times, bringing his then nation-leading total up to 15 touchdowns this season. Ryan Kirchner made four catches for 58 receiving yard and also returned three punts for 46 yards. Sophomore Cole King matched his career-high of seven receptions, recording an even 100 yards on the afternoon. Sophomore Jake Meek had a break-out game, rushing 48 yards from the quarterback position and tallied two touchdowns, including a 38-yard scoring scamper. Sophomore quarterback Will Fiacchi had another sound game in the pocket, completing 21-of-31 attempts for 255 passing yards. Defensively, senior Chris Wilk led the squad with eight tackles, including five solo, as the defense shut out Saint Francis in the second half.

Week 8: BYE

Week 9: UAlbany recovered from a slow start to take a 23-20 victory over the hosting Sacred Heart Pioneers on Oct. 29th. With 1:13 remaining in the game, Omar Osbourne rushed 40 yards into the end zone for the winning touchdown on a draw play. The duo of senior wide receiver Ryan Kirchner and sophomore quarterback Will Fiacchi led the UAlbany offense, connecting for two touchdowns in the victory. Kirchner made six catches for 86 yards, while Fiacchi completed 14-of-32 passes for 195 yards. Senior tailback Drew Smith led the Great Danes' ground game with 103 rushing yards on 27 carries, finishing with 116 all-purpose yards. In addition Kevin Chillis also broke the 100 all-purpose yard mark, totaling 106 after four receptions, two rushes, and two kickoff returns. Defensively, senior Dave Plungas had an incredible game with 16 tackles, marking a team season-high for the Great Danes, and personal career-high, while classmate Jon Morgan had two game-changing interceptions and five tackles. In addition, Leon Saddler brought down nine.

Week 10: After silencing Wagner, 24-0, in Staten Island last season, the Seahawks turned the tables and shut out the Great Danes, 30-0. Wagner came off a chaotic week of no power, cold showers, and the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in their Staten Island campus community to overcome the then No. 18/20 ranked Danes in a key NEC contest at University Field. The loss marked UAlbany's first in the league this year and just the second time the Great Danes have fallen to Wagner in their 16-game all-time series. Coming into the game averaging a conference-best 34.25 points per game, the Great Danes struggled against the Seahawks, managing just 188 yards of offense, compared to Wagner's 413 offensive yards. Playing without the second-leading scorer in the nation, senior tailback Drew Smith, for a game due to a violation of team rules, sophomore Omar Osbourne took on the starting role and led the Great Danes with 51 rushing yards on 12 carries. Will Fiacchi threw for 103 yards, completing 18-of-33 passes, including six each to Jameel Gay and Ryan Kirchner. Defensively, senior Dave Plungas recorded double-digit tackles for the second straight game, bringing down a team-high 11, including 10 solo.

PROGRAM HISTORY: UAlbany football started at the club level in 1970, before moving to Division III and varsity status three years later. The Great Danes competed at the Division II level from 1995-98, and won two Eastern Football Conference titles in that period. Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) play arrived in 1999 with membership in the Northeast Conference. UAlbany has won five NEC titles.


2012 Record: 2-7, 2-4 NEC (8th)

2011 Record: 4-7, 3-5 NEC (T-6th)

NEC Preseason Poll: 4th

Head Coach: Jeff McInerney (7th season at CCSU) (44-32 / Same)

THE COACH: Jeff McInerney is in his seventh season as Central Connecticut State's head coach. He has led the Blue Devils to a pair of Northeast Conference titles and his 44 wins are the second-highest total in school history. In 2009, McInerney was named the NEC Coach of the Year, as the Blue Devils won the first outright NEC title in school history and advanced to their first-ever Division I postseason game. McInerney has seen plenty of success in his coaching career, three times being a part of a staff that won a National Championship (1984 and 1987 at Troy State; 1990 at Georgia Southern).

THE SEASON SO FAR: The Blue Devils started the season facing some of the top FCS teams in the country, including Stony Brook (49-17, L), Lehigh (35-14, L), and New Hampshire (43-10, L); all three of those teams are currently ranked in the top-15. To start the NEC schedule, CCSU tripped to Wagner (31-13) and Sacred Heart (34-21) before winning their first game of the year against Duquesne (38-31) in front of their Homecoming crowd on Oct. 13. From there, CCSU fell to Robert Morris (37-31) on the road, but rebounded to edge Saint Francis (Pa.), 32-30 on their home field. As a result of Hurricane Sandy, the Blue Devils' contest at Monmouth was cancelled. Central Connecticut will come into their last game of the season off a 28-25 loss to Bryant. The Bulldogs trailed 17-14 at the half, but came back to score 14 unanswered points in the third quarter. The Blue Devils made a mad scramble with a touchdown and two-point conversion with 52 seconds remaining in the game to cut the deficit to three, but Bryant secured the onside kick and took a knee.


University Field has been the home of the Great Danes since Bob Ford started a club football team in 1970. In 43 seasons, UAlbany owns a 134-67-1 record on the gridiron. With the move to the CAA, the Great Danes will move to Bob Ford Field, a brand new 8,000 seat stadium, next season. Saturday's game vs. CCSU will mark the football program's last on University Field.


Senior Drew Smith led the Great Danes' running game with 143 yards on 25 carries, and totaled 164 all-purpose yards, including two catches. In addition, Smith scored his 42nd career touchdown, tying UAlbany's program record, while also moving into second-place all-time with 3,131 career rushing yards. Smith also ranks first in the NEC and fifth in the nation for scoring (10.67). Back in the lineup after a game suspension, Smith quickly made a statement, putting UAlbany on the board with a one-yard rush, capping a 14-play, 76-yard drive, at the 7:44 mark in the first quarter. Smith averaged 5.7 yards per carry, including a long of 22-yards.


Senior inside linebacker Jon Morgan recorded five tackles, snagged an interception, and blocked a punt in UAlbany's win at Duquesne. He also helped the Danes' defense hold the Dukes to just 68 rushing yards. Morgan's blocked punt was one of the key plays of the game, leading to an extra seven points before the half. With 59 seconds remaining in the first half, UAlbany's defensive pressure forced the Dukes to punt and Morgan got a hand on it, giving the Great Danes the ball on their own 41. UAlbany capitalized. With six seconds on the clock, Will Fiacchi found Cole King in the back of the end zone, 23 yards out, sending the Danes into the break leading 35-7. With 260 career tackles, Morgan is one tackle away from moving into eighth place all-time at UAlbany.


Paul Layton punted six times in UAlbany's win at Duquesne, totaling 267 yards, and averaged 44.5 yards per punt. His longest was 54 yards, and he pinned the Dukes within the 20 twice, including one at the five-yard line. Layton is averaging a program-best 40.9 yards per punt in his career (156 punts, 6,384 yards).


After totaling just 188 yards of total offense last week against Wagner, the Great Danes made up for that in just one quarter versus Duquesne. In the second quarter alone, UAlbany totaled 217 yards of offense. By halftime, the Great Danes had five touchdowns to their name, credited to five different players. UAlbany finished the game with 439 yards of total offense and 24 first downs.


UAlbany has now hit the eight-win mark in five seasons at the FCS level. The Great Danes set the program's single-season FCS record with nine wins in 2008. UAlbany looks to tie that record with a win over Central Connecticut. It would also mark the first time UAlbany has won nine games in a Division I regular season .


First-year starting quarterback Will Fiacchi has surpassed all expectations this season, as he has completed more passes than any other quarterback in program history in a single regular season. Completing 175-of-292 passes with just four interceptions, Fiacchi ranks second all-time behind Dan Di Lella who set the record last year with 196 completions (327 attempts). However, Di Lella had an extra game in the NCAA Tournament to set that record. In the regular season, Di Lella had 172 pass completion, a sum Fiacchi has already bested. Yardage wise, Fiacchi has passed for 1,914 yards, ranking him fifth for a single season, and ninth for a career.


Drew Smith - With 42 career touchdowns (37 rushing, 5 receiving), Smith needs to score one more touchdown to own UAlbany's all-time career record, currently held by Gary Jones (2002-03).

- Rushing for 37 touchdowns in his career, Smith is three rushing touchdowns away from tying UAlbany's all-time leader Gary Jones (2002-03) with 40.

- Drew Smith has totaled 3,131 career rushing yards, ranking him second all-time at UAlbany. David McCarty holds the record with 4,287 career-rushing yards.

Will Fiacchi - Redshirt sophomore quarterback Will Fiacchi has completed 175 (292 attempts) passes this season, ranking second all-time behind Dan Di Lella's 196 (327 attempts). With one game in the regular season left, Fiacchi is 22 completed passes away from breaking the record. He has shown it is doable, completing 21 or more in a single game three times this fall.

Jon Morgan - With 260 career tackles, Morgan is one away from moving into eighth place all-time and 11 away from tying his linebacker coach, Don Mion (1973-74), with 271.

Dave Plungas - With 241 career tackles, Plungas is 12 tackles away from joining teammate Jon Morgan in UAlbany's career top-10.


Eric LaPorta has been named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-District Football Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. LaPorta is now eligible for the Academic All-America ballot. A native of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., LaPorta maintains a 3.59 GPA in criminal justice and history, and has been UAlbany's starting center for the past two seasons. This fall, LaPorta's play has helped UAlbany to the league's top-ranked scoring offense (31.20), and has limited opponent sacks to just 1.80 per game. The junior has played a key role in leading the Great Danes to Top-25 rankings in both the FCS Coaches Poll and The Sports Network Top-25 for multiple weeks. In addition, LaPorta started every game in the Great Danes' 2011 Northeast Conference Championship run and trip to the NCAA Tournament.


UAlbany's 21 seniors will be honored in a pregame ceremony Saturday, as they will be playing in the last home game of their careers. The senior class includes...

Ocieka Bakou (55, DL), Anthony Bazzoffi (79, OL), Matt Berwager (82, TE), Paul Booker (32, TE), Chris Bouchard (18, ILB), Mike Brown (29, S), John Cunningham (73, DL), Matt Goss (84, TE), Joe Hoback (75, OL), Nick Hutcherson (2, WR), Sean Kenny (13, K), Ryan Kirchner (8, WR), Dean Mercuris (35, DL), Jordan Migliore (77, OL), Ben Miseikis (1, TB), Jon Morgan (11, ILB), Nate Papso (88, WR), Dave Plungas (45, ILB), Leon Saddler (21, CB), Drew Smith (10, TB), Chris Wilk (22, ILB).


If everything falls into place, meaning the Great Danes win and Wagner loses, UAlbany will find out who they play in the NCAA Tournament during the NCAA selection show that airs Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

UAlbany Volleyball Set to Host 2012 America East Conference Tournament

ALBANY, N.Y.-- University at Albany has earned the top seed and will host the 2012 America East Volleyball Championship for the fifth-straight year - and eighth time in the last nine years - on Friday and Saturday at University Gymnasium. Also in the championship field are #2 Binghamton, #3 UMBC, and #4 New Hampshire. UAlbany earned the top seed with a sweep of Providence on Friday evening, capturing their fifth-straight America East regular-season title and eighth in the last nine years. The Great Danes have also won the last two America East tournament titles and six of the last eight. UAlbany closed out the regular season with a 13-14 record overall, going 10-2 in conference play. UAlbany will be matched up with No. 4 seed New Hampshire (15-13, 7-5 AE) at 7 p.m. on Friday night in the second semifinal. The Great Danes and the Wildcats took their final match of the regular season to five sets last Sunday. New Hampshire has qualified for the tournament in back-to-back years and is looking to secure its first America East crown since winning consecutive titles in 2002 and 2003. Binghamton (11-17, 8-4 AE), who has won the only two titles UAlbany has not in the last eight seasons, earned the No. 2 seed in the America East Championship with a win over Stony Brook on the final day of regular-season play, after tying with UMBC in the standings. Binghamton won the tiebreak between the two teams, as although they split the season series, the Bearcats won more sets (4) than UMBC (3) in head-to-head matchups. UMBC (15-14, 8-4 AE) clinched a playoff spot with a four-set win over Stony Brook on Friday. The Retrievers were idle on Sunday, just awaiting the results of the other matches to find out their seed. UMBC has now qualified for three-straight America East Championships and four of the last five. Binghamton and UMBC will play the first semifinal game at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16. The winners of the two semifinal matches will compete in the final on Sat., Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. The title game will be streamed for free at AmericaEast.com. 2012 America East Volleyball Championship Friday, Nov. 16 - Semifinals #4 New Hampshire at #1 Albany, 7:00 p.m. #3 UMBC vs. #2 Binghamton, 4:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 - Final Semifinal Winners, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

UAlbany Men's Basketball Stun's Pac-12 Washington 63-62 - UAlbany Sports 2012

SEATTLE, Wash. - Senior guard Mike Black, with ice in his veins, hit the last-second layup to defeat Washington, 63-62, Tuesday, Nov. 13 at Alaska Airlines Arena. This is UAlbany's second BCS win in school history; the first was against Utah in 2006. "I've been here 12 years, we won at Utah I think the year before they had gone to the Elite 8. I think it was the first year (Rick) Majerus wasn't coaching, so that and outside of going to the NCAA tournament in '06 and '07," said Coach Brown. "This is obviously the biggest single game we have ever won, that is for sure. We have only been Division I for 12 years." This win marks Great Danes head coach Will Brown's 150th victory at the program. Black and Jacob Iati paced UAlbany with 22 and 20 points, respectively. "Mike Black is the best player in our league in my opinion. Definitely the best point guard," said Coach Brown on the play of the UAlbany guards. "He's had plenty of games like this before. Jacob Iati is just a gutsy kid. He might be as good as any shooter in the country." Washington had three players, Abdul Gaddy, Aziz N'Diaye, and C.J Wilcox, all score in double figures today. N'Diyae had the games only double-double, recording 13 points and 11 rebounds. UAlbany (2-1) opened up the second half with a four-point lead, 33-29, with 19:25 left. Black hit the open lane and made the layup. Washington (1-1) came back with its own 16-5 run to grab a seven-point lead, 45-38, with 13:24 remaining. Huskies' Desmond Simmons scored all six of his points during the run with a Jernard Jarreau alley-oop dunk to cap it. After a fast-break dunk by Sam Rowley to cut the deficit to five, Washington's Gaddy Abdul hit a three for an eight-point lead, 48-40, marking the largest lead of the game. The Great Danes came back with a vengeance, going on a 14-5 run to grab a one-point lead, 54-53, with 5:08 remaining in the game. Black paced UAlbany with nine of his game-high 22 points during the run. Both teams traded baskets for the next four minutes until Washington grabbed a two-point lead, 60-58, with 1:03 left in the game. Simmons forced a turnover, allowing Andrew Andrews to get fouled and hit both free throws. Iati, who hit six three-pointers in the game, drove to the basket and dished it out to redshirt-freshman Peter Hooley in the corner to knock down the triple for the one-point lead, 61-60, with 35 seconds remaining. Following the Hooley three, Gaddy followed up with an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and made the layup. The layup gave the Huskies a one-point lead, 62-61, with 18 seconds left. Then with just 7.6 seconds in the game and down by one, Black took the ball in his own hands. Black slashed down the left side past two defenders and hit the game-winning layup with 3.2 seconds. Abdul threw up the last shot, but it hit the back of the iron for the Great Danes to get the victory. A very defensive first half with both teams combined 30 points through 15 minutes of the half. There would be six scoring ties until UAlbany grabbed a one-point, 24-23, with 3:10 left in the half. The Great Danes would extend their lead to five, 28-23, as both Black and Rowley went a combined 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. UAlbany finished out the half with a last-second layup by Black to give the Danes a four-point lead and a foreshadow to finish to the finish of the game.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

#4 Ohio State Defeats UAlbany Mens Basketball, 82-60, On Sunday

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Junior guard Aaron Craft led the Buckeyes with 20 points to defeat UAlbany, 82-60, on Sunday, Nov. 11 at the Value City Arena. The Great Danes look ahead to the Washington Huskies on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at Alaska Airlines Arena. Great Danes senior guard Mike Black led his squad with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Jacob Iati scored in double figures with 13 points, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Craft paced No. 4 Ohio State with 20 points, shooting 5-of-7 from the three point line. Deshaun Thomas, Lenzelle Smith Jr., and LaQuinton Ross all scored in double figures with 19, 18, and 10 points, respectively. UAlbany out shot Ohio State from the free throw line 73.3 percent (22-30) to 46.2 percent (6-13). The Great Danes tied the Buckeyes on the boards with 32 apiece. The Great Danes came out aggressive, keeping up with the No. 4 Buckeyes. Both teams would battle back and forth through the first six minutes of play, with Ohio State holding a slight 10-8 lead with 14:02 remaining. Black tallied five of the team's first eight points. Ohio State extended its lead to six, 14-8, with 12:20 left. Craft and Ross each tallied buckets to push the Buckeye lead. However, UAlbany came back by going on a 15-8 run with 4:46 left in the half to give the Great Danes a 23-22 lead. Black paced the Great Danes with eight points and forward Sam Rowley capped the run with a layup. Buckeye's Thomas took the game into his own hands for the final four minutes of the half, scoring 13 of his 16 first half points. Ohio State went into the half with a 14-point lead, 39-25. Ohio State took its 14-point first half lead and extended it to 27, 67-40, with 7:24 left in the second half. Craft hit three of his five triples during the Buckeye run. UAlbany used a 20-8 run to cut the deficit to 15, 75-60, with 1:52 remaining in the half. Two offensive rebounds by Luke Devlin helped Peter Hooley hit a three to cut the deficit. But Ohio State held off the UAlbany run to begin the season 1-0.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

UAlbany FCS Football Uses Huge First Half To Down Duquesne, 38-31

PITTSBURGH - In a game divided, the University at Albany football team overcame the hosting Duquesne University Dukes, 38-31, Saturday afternoon at Rooney Field in a key Northeast Conference contest. The Great Danes came out with vengeance in the opening half, taking a 35-7 lead at the break, but the Dukes came storming back, scoring the first 17 points of the second stanza. In the end, UAlbany held on to improve to 8-2 overall and 6-1 in conference. They now will play for at least a share of the NEC title next weekend against Central Connecticut State. After totaling just 188 yards of total offense last week against Wagner, the Great Danes made up for that in just one quarter versus the Dukes. In the second quarter alone, UAlbany totaled 217 yards of offense. By halftime, the Great Danes had five touchdowns to their name, credited to five different players. UAlbany finished the game with 439 yards of total offense and 24 first downs. Senior Drew Smith led the Great Danes' running game with 143 yards on 25 carries, and totaled 164 all-purpose yards, including two catches. In addition, Smith scored his 42nd career touchdown, tying UAlbany's program record. Omar Osbourne also crossed the goal line and rushed 80 yards, while finishing with 102 all-purpose yards. Likewise, Kevin Chillis was credited a touchdown, showing spectacular agility, accumulating 64 rushing yards in the win. Sophomore quarterback Will Fiachhi completed 14-of-22 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Classmate Cole King was his top receiver with three catches, including one for a score, and 54 receiving yards. Defensively, Chris Wilk led the squad with seven unassisted tackles and a sack, while Jon Morgan dropped five, snagged an interception, and blocked a punt. Senior Dean Mercuris also had a solid game with five tackles, a sack, a pass break up, and two quarterback hurries. To start the contest, the Great Danes' defense forced a quick three-and-out. Back in the lineup, Smith quickly made a statement, putting UAlbany on the board with a one-yard rush, capping a 14-play, 76-yard drive, at the 7:44 mark in the first quarter. Osbourne's three-yard run across the goal line with 14:03 to go in the second quarter gave the Great Danes a 14-0 head start, after UAlbany's seven-play, 64-yard drive. However, playing in his last home game of his career, senior running back Larry McCoy put the Dukes on the board with 11:17 left in the half. McCoy rushed two yards, capping a 77-yard drive. With 9:27 left in the half, Paul Layton's 49-yard punt pinned the Dukes at their own five-yard line, later proving to be a huge play in the game. The Great Danes defense followed with a quick three-and-out, forcing Duquesne to punt out of the end zone, and the ball landed out of bounds just 24-yards away. With fantastic field position, Chillis took advantage on what could have been a broken play. On a wild pitch, Chillis scrambled away from the defense, reversed, and then turned up field 34 yards and into the end zone for a 21-7 advantage with 7:30 left in the half. "It's hard to tackle Chillis in a phone booth," said Bob Ford in the heat of the game action. With 1:47 left in the second quarter, Fiacchi faked a handoff to Osbourne and ran 10 yards untouched for a touchdown. The 10-play, 4:38 minute drive gave the Great Danes a 21-point lead, 28-7. Defensive pressure, including Joe Fasano's sack for a loss of six yards, forced the Dukes to punt with 59 seconds remaining. Morgan got a hand on it, giving the Danes the ball on their own 41. UAlbany capitalized. With six seconds on the clock, Fiacchi found King in the back of the end zone, 23 yards out, sending the Danes into the break ahead 35-7. However, while the first half belonged to UAlbany, the second half was primarily Duquesne's. The Dukes scored 17 unanswered points, kicked off by Rich Piekarski's blocked punt. One play later Gianni Carter caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Sean Patterson with 7:05 remaining in the third quarter. Duquesne struck again with Charley Leventry's 26-yard field goal with 12:54 left in the fourth quarter. After recovering their onside kick, the Dukes cut the deficit to 11, 35-24. Patterson capped an eight-play drive with a four-yard rush. The Great Danes broke their scoring drought with Sean Kenny's 30-yard field goal with 2:12 remaining in the contest. With the clock ticking down, the Dukes continued to threaten, driving 75-yards with seven plays including a 51-yard Hail Mary pass to McCoy on a third-and-five play that put Duqusene on the 19 yard line. Sean Brady capped the drive with a grab in the end zone with 11 seconds remaining, putting the Dukes within seven, 38-31. However, the onside kick was not successful in the second attempt, and the Great Danes were able to run out the waning seconds with a knee. UAlbany closes out the regular season next Saturday at home against Central Connecticut State. A win will secure at least a share of the NEC title with Wagner. With first-place Wagner playing Duquesne, a loss for the Seahawks and win for the Danes will send UAlbany to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. Senior Day kickoff will be at 1:00 p.m. at University Field.

Friday, November 9, 2012

UAlbany Volleyball Sweeps Providence to Claim Regular-Season America East Title

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Senior Dunja Prgomet and sophomore Sara Pope each recorded 13 kills apiece to lead UAlbany to a 3-0 sweep of Providence in America East Conference volleyball action on Friday afternoon at University Gymnasium. The Great Danes sealed up the America East Regular Season Title with the win, posting set scores of 25-12, 25-15, and 25-13. Prgomet, who has seen limited action this season because of an injury, was showing no signs of that on Friday, as she recorded five kills on .625 hitting in the first set alone. Senior setter Gabby Whitworth handed out nine assists in the set, quarterbacking the Great Danes to a .448 hitting percentage as a team. Tatum Jungsten and Pope each recorded solo blocks in the set. Pope led UAlbany in set two, recording a team-best five kills. The trio of Prgomet, Traci Vandegrift, and Sofia Furlong all tallied three kills apiece, while Furlong hitting a set-best .700. Vandegrift was also strong defensively for the Great Danes, finishing with five digs to tie for the team lead in the set with Viktoriia Stroilo. Pope and Prgomet recorded six and five kills, respectively, in the third and final set. Prgomet, who finished with a double-double of 13 digs in the match, added seven of those digs in the third, while Stroilo came up with eight of her team-best 17. As a team, the Great Danes served up seven aces, with three coming from Lindsey McCloskey. Whitworth finished with 35 assists, eight digs and two kills, while Vandegrift totaled 10 digs and seven kills. UAlbany outblocked Providence (1-29, AE 0-11) by an 8-0 margin, getting two solo blocks each from Jungsten and Vandegrift. UAlbany (12-14, AE 9-2) will close out the regular season on Sunday at New Hampshire. The Great Danes will await the finalization of the standings to see who will be joining them at University Gymnasium next weeked for the America East Conference Tournament.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

UAlbany Field Hockey Will Face #3 Penn State in NCAA Tournament; Jumps to #17 in National Poll

ALBANY, N.Y. -- After bringing home their third America East Conference Field Hockey Championship title, the UAlbany Great Danes jumped from 21st to 17th on the latest Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll, released on Tuesday. As a result of earning the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, the Great Danes will travel to #3 Penn State in the first round of competition. UAlbany (13-7) will take on the Nittany Lions on Saturday, with a time to be announced. Also in the State College bracket are #5 Syracuse, who whill take on #16 Massachusetts. Penn State, winners of the 2012 Big Ten title, stand at 17-3 overall. The Nittany Lions are currently on a seven-game win streak. "Penn State is traditionally very good," said UAlbany head coach Phil Sykes, who has led the Great Danes to three America East titles in the last five years. "We like how we're playing right now, and we are peaking at the right time." The Great Danes, who have been ranked since the first week of the 2010 season, entered the league tournament as the second seed, and defeated top-ranked New Hampshire, 3-1, on their home turf to bring home the championship title. Junior Daphne Voormolen tied a tournament record with four goals and eight total points over the weekend tournament, en route to being named the Most Outstanding Player of the championship. Voormolen's goal in the championship game, assisted by Amy Nicklin, proved to be the gamewinner. Classmate Corinne McConville was also named to the All-Tournament Team, along with seniors Nina Walters and Jessica Longstreth.

Friday, November 2, 2012

#18/20 UAlbany FCS Football Welcomes Wagner For Big NEC Weekend

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Saturday's home game versus the Wagner College Seahawks may turn out to be the University at Albany football team's most important of the season. With three regular season games left, the Great Danes (7-1, 5-0 NEC) are a half-game ahead of the Seahawks (5-3, 5-1 NEC) in the Northeast Conference standings. A win would guarantee that UAlbany will finish with at least the same or better conference record than everyone in the league, including the second-place Seahawks, as well as Duquesne (5-3, 3-2 NEC) and Monmouth (4-4, 3-2 NEC), who currently share third. UAlbany still has a road trip to Duquesne and a home game against Central Connecticut State, but the path to UAlbany's sixth NEC championship starts this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at University Field.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

UAlbany Field Hockey Brings Home Three Major America East Conference Awards

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. -- Kristi Troch earned her third straight America East Conference Goalkeeper of the Year award, while Daphne Voormolen was named Co-Offensive Player of the Year, and Laura Page earned Co-Rookie of the Year honors, as announced by the America East office on Wednesday afternoon. The Great Danes had six total members on the league's all-conference teams, and four student-athletes also earned All-Academic Team honors.

Voormolen, who has 10 goals and three assists, ranks fourth among league leaders in goals, and is sixth in total points with 23, tied with her Co-Player of the Year, Annabelle Hamilton of Maine. Voormolen, a second-team all-conference selection last year, has nine scores in her last 11 games and is UAlbany’s first Offensive Player of the Year since current assistant coach Michelle Simpson, who earned the title in 2006. A business administration and public health major, Voormolen was also named to the All-Academic Team with a 3.53 grade point average.

Troch split Goalkeeper of the Year honors with Boston U.'s Jess Maroney, after leading the league in goals-against average and save percentage, respectively. Troch, who earned the honor for the third straight year, is the first America East field hockey player to win a major award in three straight seasons. She recorded a league-best 1.17 GAA, which also ranks ninth nationally, and five shutouts. Troch was also named to the All-Academic Team, posting a 3.62 GPA in human biology.

Page and Maine's Cassidy Svetek ranked among league leaders in goals and assists, to earn Co-Rookie of the Year honors. Page is second among league leaders with 14 assists and ranks ninth nationally with 0.76 assists per game. She has a goal and six assists in her last four games. She becomes the Great Danes’ second Rookie of the Year in the last three seasons.

Also representing UAlbany on the all-conference first team along with Voormolen and Troch are graduate student Jessica Longstreth and junior Corrine McConville. Both were unanimous selections by the America East coaches after leading UAlbany in scoring. Longstreth and McConville rank third and fourth, respectively, in the league with 28 and 26 total points. Longstreth, who won back-to-back player of the week honors this season, leads the conference with 14 assists, while McConville is fourth among goal scorers with 10.

Senior defender Taylor Luke earns her fourth all-conference award as UAlbany's lone member of the All-Conference Second Team. Luke, who has established herself as one of the best defenders in program history, was also named to the All-Academic Team with a 3.60 GPA in human biology.

Freshman Fiori van Rijswijk also joined Page on the All-Rookie Team after starting 11 of 14 games and scoring one goal. Senior Brianna Schwoyer, another key member of the UAlbany defense, also earned All-Academic Honors, finishing with a 3.97 GPA as a human biology major.

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