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Great Danes Snap Losing Streak In Blowout Win Over NJIT

By Vince Gasparini | February 17, 2024


It was a team effort for the University at Albany men’s basketball team on Thursday night, as they dominated the New Jersey Institute of Technology in a 83-58 win. Four separate Great Danes scored double-digits points, as UAlbany moved back into the win column in a must-win game against a conference rival late in the season.


Ny’Mire Little (#3) dunking the ball in the second half on Thursday night.

Photo Credit: Savanna Stoddart / The ASP


UAlbany Head Coach Dwayne Killings was especially proud of his team’s performance on the defensive end, saying it was “probably one of our better defensive efforts in league play.” NJIT finished the game with just a 36.5% mark from the field on 23-63 shooting, including 5-20 from beyond the arc.


The Great Danes had the Highlanders’ number from the start, opening the game on a 14-4 run. Tyler Bertram dominated from beyond the arc in the first half, sinking four 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the game for UAlbany. Bertram finished the game with 20 points.


“I love to shoot in this gym,” said Bertram, who in his last game at the Broadview Center broke the UAlbany single-game three-point field goal record. “No matter where I am, I just try not to think about my misses and just keep shooting.” Bertram finished the night going 6-10 from beyond the arc.


UAlbany ended the first half with a 41-28 lead over the Highlanders, which was punctuated by a strong slam dunk by Aaron Reddish with 32 seconds remaining in the half.


The Great Danes kept the pedal to the metal in the second half, as NJIT only got within eight points. Sebastian Thomas, who went 0-5 from the field in the first half, took over after the break, scoring 16 points and shooting 6-9 from the field and 3-6 from the free throw line in the second half. Thomas also led in assists with nine, and sits at third in the America East in assists per game with 5.2. 


“I think now, with the loss of Jonathan [Beagle], it puts a little bit more focus on me offensively,” Thomas said. Beagle, who went on temporary leave after the team’s loss to Vermont on Feb. 1, was averaging 12.5 points per game this season.


Several exciting plays across the game highlighted the night for the Great Danes, including a steal by Marcus Filien off of NJIT’s Tariq Francis that led to a fast-break dunk for Ny’Mire Little with 5:58 remaining. Within the same minute, Little stole the ball off of Elijah Buchanan and passed it to the hot hand of Tyler Bertram, who sunk a 3-pointer and did his signature “3 goggles” celebration afterwards.


An 18-point night by Aaron Reddish and a double-double by Muneer Newton, who recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds, also helped propel the Great Danes to victory over the Highlanders. As a team, UAlbany shot 53.3% from the field on 32-60 shooting, including a 10-23 mark from the 3-point line.


UAlbany now stands at a record of 12-13, with a 4-6 record in America East play. They face University of Maryland, Baltimore County on the road on Saturday afternoon.


“We just gotta control the pace of the game; we can’t let it get too fast for us,” Killings said. The fast-paced play of UMBC was too much for the Great Danes when they lost against the Retrievers on Feb. 3 by a score of 114-102.


However, Killings believes that his team’s win against NJIT has built the confidence they need to take down UMBC. “I think seeing the ball go through the net, seeing the defensive coverages work, I think more [players] buy in.”

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