By Eddy Kemedjio
The University at Albany Great Danes men’s basketball team fell to the Hartford Hawks on Saturday, 62-48.
Albany came into the game having won five of their last seven with a conference record of 4-1.
The Hawks came out of both halves with strong play. UAlbany fought back, but never completely got over the hump as Hartford led from start to finish.
The Great Danes performance was spoiled by poor offensive play, with the team managing to shoot only 25% from the field and only 4-25 from beyond the arc.
Leading guards Ahmad Clark and Cameron Healy were a combined 6-25 from the field and 0-7 from 3-point territory with 14 turnovers.
Along with the cold-shooting was the problem of ball security; Albany’s 19 turnovers were the product of sloppy play, poor decision making, and great defensive play from Hartford.
The Hawks came up with 13 steals, including a program-record nine from graduate transfer Traci Carter. Hartford Coach John Gallagher spoke highly of Carter’s play, saying “he’s the best on ball defender I’ve ever coached.”
The real takeaway from the game, however, was the play of Hawk’s forward, University of Pittsburg transfer Malik Ellison. Ellison was easily the best player on the floor Saturday, finishing with 31 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals.
Ellison was at his best in the second half, scoring 22 of the team’s 31 second-half points.
UAlbany came into the game banged up and Coach Gallagher mentioned catching the Great Danes at the right time. UAlbany head coach Will Brown dismissed the notion that injuries were the reason they lost the game, and it is important to give credit where credit is due.
With the health of the Great Danes being somewhat compromised, Coach Brown and his players knew that they were going into the game with a small margin for error and that poor play would show.
UAlbany looks to get back into the win column with a matchup against UMBC on Wednesday.