By Vince Gasparini | January 22, 2024
The Broadview Center witnessed the University at Albany men's basketball team’s first loss at home this season at the hands of UMass Lowell by a score of 97-76. The Great Danes’ loss on Thursday was defined by foul trouble, with the first place in the America East River Hawks going 20-25 from the charity stripe.
Sebastian Thomas shoots a floater over UMass Lowell’s Brayden O’Connor.
Photo Credit: Vince Gasparini / The ASP
The Great Danes fell behind early, but kept the game close, heading into the locker room down 44-43. With just under 10 minutes remaining, the score sat at 71-67 in favor of UML, but a 3-pointer by UML’s Brayden O’Connor followed by a statement dunk by Max Brooks gave the River Hawks the momentum to pull away in the final minutes.
“We have to find a way to compete at a higher level if we’re going to win an America East championship,” head coach Dwayne Killings said. “At home, you give up 97, you don’t have a chance. That’s not acceptable.”
Jonathan Beagle attests the team’s shortcomings against the River Hawks to their struggles on the defensive end. “I just feel like we didn’t come out with a lot of energy defensively,” he said. “We didn’t really lock into the scouting report and do what we were supposed to do.”
UML shot an impressive 64.3% from the field, going 5-10 from the 3-point line. The River Hawks played stellar defense against the Great Danes, snagging seven steals and an equal amount of blocks.
“We came out lazy in the beginning and it kind of just carried over the whole game,” Amar’e Marshall said. “We couldn’t just pick it up and find our groove like we normally do.”
Marshall led the Great Danes in scoring with 30 points on 54.5% shooting. Beagle, Aaron Reddish, and Sebastian Thomas followed with 12 points each. Beagle led in rebounds with 12, and sits atop the America East with 9.6 rebounds per game. Thomas led the team in assists with six.
As a team, UAlbany shot 43.1% from the field, with a 6-23 mark from beyond the arc and 14-19 from the charity stripe. The Great Danes committed 12 turnovers in the loss.
Despite the tough loss, the Great Danes hope to take it as a learning experience.
“I’ve never seen a good team win without some bad losses,” Beagle said. “The good teams build from it, you get better, because it has to happen. You don’t get rewarded unless you go through some hard things.”