By Vince Gasparini | February 5, 2024
The University at Albany men’s basketball team was without their star forward Jonathan Beagle on Saturday (2/3) night as the Great Danes fell to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County by a high-scoring final of 114-102. In the absence of the 6’10” sophomore, UAlbany was outrebounded 39-33, and struggled defensively as UMBC scored 68 points in the paint.
Tyler Bertram is fifth in the America East in 3-point field goals per game with 1.9.
Photo Credit: Savanna Stoddart / The ASP
“In regard to Jonathan, he’s made a decision right now for personal reasons to step away from the program,” UAlbany head coach Dwayne Killings said. “I have no other comment about that at the moment.” Beagle was sat after playing only eight minutes in UAlbany’s 81-59 loss to Vermont last week.
The Great Danes started out a step ahead of the Retrievers, going up 13-2 in the first four minutes of the game, and leading 23-10 with 12:43 remaining in the first half. The fast-paced play of UMBC caught up to them, however, as four separate Retrievers recorded 10 or more points by halftime, giving them a 45-44 lead at the break.
UMBC remained dominant after they came out of the locker room, scoring 42 points in the paint in the second half. Their transition offense was too much for the Great Danes as they scored 23 points on fast breaks across the game.
Six separate Retrievers scored 10 or more points through the game, as Dion Brown put up 29, Franck Emmou scored 24, and Marcus Banks followed with 20. Brown achieved a double-double with his team-leading 12 rebounds.
Killings found the offense of the Retrievers “reminiscent” of the Steve Nash-Amar’e Stoudemire duo of the 2000’s Phoenix Suns. “They played fast and really up-tempo,” Killings said. “It had us on our heels.”
UMBC, despite their lowly 2-6 record in conference play, ranks third in the America East with 79.0 points per game.
Foul trouble was also a problem for UAlbany, as they committed 24 personal fouls. UMBC shot 24-29 from the charity stripe through the game, going 18-22 in the second half.
The three-point shooting of Tyler Bertram proved to be a bright spot on UAlbany’s night, as he went 10-16 from beyond the arc and scored 36 points. Bertram’s performance was enough to set the UAlbany single-game three-point field goal record.
“When I see that first one go in it gives me the most confidence in the world,” Bertram said. “After I made that first one and I started talking to myself, I just felt like I could get myself going.”
Bertram’s performance was supported by a 25-point night by Amar’e Marshall, and 16 points from Sebastian Thomas, who also led the team in assists with nine. Muneer Newton led in rebounds with six.
Coming off of the loss, the Great Danes now sit at 11-12, and are below .500 for the first time since November. They are fifth in the America East with a conference record of 3-5, and are traveling to Binghamton later this week to play against their seventh-place conference rival on Thursday. Killings “heavily” believes they have what it takes to get back into the win column.
“I’m excited for it,” he said. “Through all of this we just grow and get stronger. Keep going to practice [and] get in the film room to get ready for Thursday.”