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Late Collapse Hands Struggling Great Danes a Loss Against First Place Vermont

By Vince Gasparini | February 24, 2024

Struggles continued for the University at Albany men’s basketball team on Thursday (2/22) night as a late-game collapse led them to a 94-80 loss against the University of Vermont (UVM), making the Great Danes 2-8 in their last 10 games.

Tyler Bertram at the free throw line in the second half.

Photo Credit: Vince Gasparini / The ASP

“I thought we played hard in stretches,” said head coach Dwayne Killings. “But it’s not good enough to beat a team that’s poised to go to the NCAA Tournament.” The Catamounts currently hold a 22-6 record and are first place in the America East at 12-1 in conference play.

UVM showed out early on in the contest, grabbing a 25-12 lead with just under 12 minutes remaining in the first half. However, a 17-point half by UAlbany’s Tyler Bertram propelled the Great Danes out of the hole, slimming the margin to just 47-41 by halftime.

UAlbany got within two points of the Catamounts in the second half, trailing just 65-63 with 10:01 remaining. However, UVM outscored the Great Danes 29-17 in the final 10 minutes to seal the deal. Six separate Catamounts scored double-digits points, suffocating a UAlbany defense that is currently allowing 78.4 points per game, which ranks second-to-last in the conference.

“We try to be a little bit more disruptive defensively, and there’s times where we do a really good job,” said Killings, who labeled his team’s struggle as “sustaining” their defensive disruption. “It’s just hard to get the defensive possessions that we want.” 

UVM shot 55.2% from the field on 32-58 shooting, and were led in their scoring effort by Shamir Bogues with 17 points. Bogues also led in assists with seven, and in rebounds with five alongside Sam Alamutu. T.J. Long put up an additional 15 points and Aaron Deloney tacked on 14.

“You definitely feel the fatigue during the end of the game,” Amar’e Marshall said. “We got a shorter roster now, so guys just gotta step up more.” 

Jonathan Beagle has been away from the team for personal reasons since their 81-59 loss to the Catamounts on Feb. 1, and Justin Neely played just six games this season after coming off of an ACL tear before deciding to redshirt. Beagle was averaging 12.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

Bertram’s Broadview Center hot streak continued as he scored 27 points on 9-10 shooting, along with a 7-8 mark from the 3-point line. In his last three games at home, Bertram is averaging 27.7 points per game on 67.4% shooting from the field. Bertram attests his ability to shoot well in the Broadview Center to the lighting, which he says helps him “see the room really well,” according to Killings.

However, despite his dominant showing, Bertram does not hesitate to critique his own performance on the court.

“Every game I feel like I can do things better,” Bertram said. “I feel like I can be in better positioning on defense. I feel like sometimes when I get tired I don’t use my voice as much, and I can use that to help us in defensive situations.”

Sebastian Thomas put up 19 points and led in assists with four. Marshall added an additional 14 points, and Muneer Newton led in rebounds with seven.

UAlbany now sits at a record of 12-15 overall, and 4-8 in the America East. In the final weeks of a 31-game season, Killings acknowledges that his team is getting winded.

“[Ny’Mire Little] even said today, ‘I’m behind,’” Killings said. “I think the same thing for Aaron [Reddish]. I mean, we would love to get 21 [points] and 10 [rebounds] out of him.” Reddish scored just two points in 24 minutes against the Catamounts, and put up four rebounds.

“I think our lack of body shows,” Killings said. “We’re worn out.”

The Great Danes face UMass Lowell on the road on Saturday (2/24) afternoon.


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