Ambrose, Great Danes pull out win

Will Brown’s 100th career win didn’t come without more than his share of anxious moments.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Will Brown’s 100th career win didn’t come without more than his share of anxious moments.

His Great Danes continued to struggle shooting the ball, and they made some key mistakes late in the game.

But sophomore guard Tim Ambrose made up for a couple of cruc­ial miscues by scoring the last five points, including two free throws with 12 seconds left, to help the University at Albany rally past Boston University, 62-61, Thursday night at SEFCU Arena.

Boston University, playing without two starters and its sixth man, took a 61-57 lead on a Scott Brittain free throw with 47.2 seconds remaining. Brittain missed two free throws one second earlier, but he grabbed the rebound and was immediately fouled by Louis Barraza.

Will Harris launched a three-pointer with 38 seconds remaining, but the ball caromed off the rim and was picked up by Ambrose, who drove the lane and converted a three-point play to pull the Danes within a point with 33.7 seconds left.

Harris then stole the ball from Marques Johnson, and the Danes were back in business. But Harris missed a layup, and Jarel Hastings had his shot blocked. The Danes converged on the rebound, and tied up a BU defender, forcing a jump ball. Albany had the possession arrow in its favor, and Brown called a timeout with 23.3 seconds on the clock.

Ambrose, who won a game earl­ier against Central Connecticut State with a similar play, drove hard to the basket and was fouled by Brittain. Ambrose knocked down both free throws with 12.3 seconds left, but the Danes still had to play solid defense to preserve the win.

BU head coach Dennis Wolff called a timeout with 8.2 seconds remaining, and his son, Matt, inbounded the ball to Johnson, who found Wolff for a jumper from the top of the key that bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

Ambrose finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. Harris added 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Barraza connected for three three-pointers and finished with 11 points for the 1-1, 9-6 Great Danes. Boston University dropped to 0-1 and 5-8.

Although the Danes again failed to shoot at least 40 percent from the floor, they outrebounded the Terriers, 44-27, and made clutch plays when they had to.

“I’m proud of our guys. They found a way to get it done,” said Brown, who was concerned that Boston University would step up its game after losing starters Corey Lowe (disciplinary reasons) and Tyler Morris (season-ending injury) and best sub Carlos Strong (season-ending injury) in the last few days.

“I don’t like to play a team like Hartford, which played without their leading scorer, Joe Zeglin­ski, because the other guys us­ually play better. Once we found out that Lowe and the other two guys weren’t playing, I said to myself, ‘Here we go again.’ ”

But with three of their top players absent, the Terriers relied on soph­omore John Holland, who poured in 25 points, and Brittain, who added 11 points and seven rebounds.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed. We needed to make a couple more plays at the end,” said coach Wolff, who said he never thought twice about playing Lowe after he found out that he lost both Morris and Strong for the season. Lowe was averaging a team-best 17.6 points per game, but was disciplined for poor behavior in his last game.

Meanwhile, Brown thought there were several reasons why the Great Danes were able to rally past the Terriers.

“First of all, the glass is a formula for success against them. We outrebounded them by quite a margin when we beat them twice during the regular season last year. When they beat us in the America East tourn­ament, I think they outrebounded us by six.

“I’m also trying to be more pat­ient with Tim Ambrose. He makes a mistake, and then he makes a good play. I rolled with him tonight, and he made some big plays down the stretch.”

Brown also appreciated the play of Barraza, who scored in double figures for only the second time this season.

“I’m happy for Barraza. Some people have been asking me why I play him, because he’s been missing so many shots lately, but he makes them all in practice.”

BOSTON UNIVERSITY (61)

Wolff 2-9 4-6 9, O’Brien 2-9 1-2 5, Brittain 4-7 3-6 11, Holland 10-16 1-2 25, Johnson 3-7 1-2 7, Tully 0-0 0-0 0, Sirutis 1-1 0-1 2, Pelage 1-2 0-1 2. Totals: 23-51 10-20 61

ALBANY (62)

Harris 5-13 3-4 14, Connelly 1-3 2-2 4, Gifford 1-1 2-2 4, Raffa 2-11 0-0 4, Ambrose 7-14 5-5 19, Allen 1-4 0-0 2, Hastings 2-2 0-0 4, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Barraza 3-8 2-2 11, Covington 0-1 0-2 0. Totals: 22-57 14-17 62.

Halftime: Boston University 33-30. Three-point goals: BU 5-16 (Wolff 1-2, O’Brien 0-4, Holland 4-7, Johnson 0-3); Albany 4-18 (Harris 1-4, Raffa 0-4, Ambrose 0-1, Allen 0-2, Barraza 3-7), Rebounds: BU 27 (Johnson 8), Albany 44 (Ambrose 11). Assists: BU 10 (Johnson 7), Albany 14 (Allen 4). Personal fouls: BU 18, Albany 20. Fouled out: Brittain, Connelly. Officials: Jeffry Bryant, Sean Hull, John Gill. Attendance: 2,237.

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