By Edwards Kemedjio
The University at Albany Great Danes took on the Binghamton Bearcats on Wednesday and came out on top 62-49.
It was an ugly game offensively for both teams. Neither team shot over 35% for the field and the teams combined shot under 50% from the free-throw line.
Both injuries and foul trouble contributed to the lack of offensive production for the Great Danes. Standout guard Cameron Healy was injured early in the game and never returned. Foul trouble limited point guard Ahmad Clark to only eight minutes in the first half.
UAlbany head coach Will Brown commented on Healy's status going forward, saying “I don’t know how bad it is right now. Good thing we don’t play until next Wednesday…Hopefully we can get guys healthier.”
Other players had to step up for the team. Antonio Rizzuto and Trey Hutcheson both had 17 for the Great Danes and team captain Nick Fruscio got the nod in the first half for the first time in his four-year career in the program.
“That’s what coaches kids do. Really proud of Nick…He gave us a nice jolt, a big lift,” Coach Brown said about the three assists and one steal Fruscio tallied in four minutes.
An unsung hero for the Great Danes was forward Malachi De Sousa. While he didn't impress on the stat sheet, his defense on star guard Sam Sessoms for Binghamton had Coach Brown raving after the game.
“I thought Malachi was the MVP for us because he did a great job on Sessoms,” he said. “He was really feeling poorly today and wanted to play, and I thought he was outstanding.”
The first half started off well for the Great Danes, as they jumped out to a quick 11-2 lead, and were largely led by Hutchenson and senior point guard Ahmad Clark.
Healy would give UAlbany their first lead double-digit lead of the night, hitting his first three about midway through the first half. He would leave the game shortly after.
Rizzuto stepped after Healy’s exit, leading UAlbany into a 33-21 halftime lead. He scored 15 points in the first half.
The Bearcats would never get within eight points of the Great Danes, as the Danes remained strong in the second half.
The Great Danes have a week’s reprieve before they head to Hartford in a rematch with major conference implications.