By: Samantha Simmons | February 17, 2023
On Wednesday night at a home game vs. the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers, the University at Albany Great Danes took home their first win after a nine-game losing streak, beating UMBC 81-74 at McDonough Field House at Hudson Valley Community College.
University at Albany’s Trey Hutcheson shoots a free throw in the final seconds of the game.
Photo Credit: Samantha Simmons / The ASP
The win keeps the Great Danes hopeful for a playoff spot later this season.
Senior forward Gerald Drumgoole Jr. and freshman Jonathan Beagle led the Great Danes with 16 points each.
UMBC started hot, scoring the first seven points of the game a minute and a half after the beginning with five points from guard Matteo Picarelli and a layup by graduate guard Craig Beaudoin II. With 18:30 left to go in the first half, the Great Danes took their first timeout of the night.
“I thought they might cave with the 7-0 lead by UMBC,” said UAlbany’s head coach Dwayne Killings, “but they didn’t. They [UAlbany] were more prepared tonight.”
Next, UAlbany forward Trey Hutcheson was assisted by Da’Kquan Davis and scored his first 3-pointer of the game, the start of an 11-point first half for him. Davis finished with 12 game points. After his pair of three-pointers and a jump shot by freshman guard Marcus Jackson, Hutcheson was able to secure a one-point lead with two successful free throws, setting them up 10-9 with just over 14 minutes left in the first half.
Sophomore forward Aaron Reddish secured four points for the team before being subbed out in the first half and not returning in the second half due to what appeared to be an injury. He was slow getting up after a held ball incident left him on the floor. He was seen later on the sidelines working with the team's physical trainer.
At halftime, UAlbany led 37-35. Both the Great Danes and Retrievers were able to score twelve points off turnovers in the half.
Drumgoole Jr. scored first in the second half with a layup followed by a jump shot from UMBC’s Jarvis Doles, a forward, who played for UAlbany from 2020-22 before transferring. Beagle responded with a dunk putting the Great Danes up 41-37. He finished the night with 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
With 16:30 remaining in the second half, the Retrievers had a chance to catch up, behind 49-45, but were unable to hang on as the Great Danes continued to work together and kept sinking shots bringing the score to 56-48.
UAlbany graduate guard Sarju Patel was able to steal with 16:20 remaining and score a 3-pointer. Patel scored his 13 game points in the second half.
UMBC was able to bridge what would have been a 12-point game to a six-point game with less than 30 seconds of gameplay left. Three free throws from Picarelli and a layup from senior guard Jacob Boonyasith were the final points from UMBC in the game. Picarelli scored a career-high of 24 points during Wednesday night's game.
The UAlbany men led the entirety of the second half and outrebounded UMBC, 41-23.
Drumgoole Jr. scored the final point on a free throw with seven seconds left.
The Great Danes shot 46 percent overall going 29-63 from the field. UMBC shot 35 percent overall, 21-59 from the field.
The Great Danes seemed to be running the shot clock out on every offensive possession. In a post-game interview, Hutcheson and Drumgoole Jr. were all smiles after running a tight defense against UMBC. In their last match-up, the Retrievers were able to run up the score due to UAlbany’s weaker defensive strategy. “We want to highlight our ability to switch off this game,” said Hutcheson, “We stepped up and guarded the guards.”
“We were long due for a smile,” Drumgoole Jr. added, “I can’t describe the feeling of a win after such a long [losing] streak.”
While UMBC head coach Jim Ferry was upset with the loss, he admired UAlbany’s drive to come out on top in this game. “You’ve gotta give them credit. They’ve been getting better all season,” he said, “they outplayed us.”
The Great Danes will face the University of Maine Black Bears Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2:00 p.m. in Orono, ME.