Danes vs. Retrievers: dogfight in the cellar

University at Albany will attempt to get some company in the America East basement tonight when the
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University at Albany will attempt to get some company in the America East basement tonight when the Great Danes play University of Maryland Baltimore County at 7 in the Retriever Activities Center in Baltimore.

The Great Danes, last in the league at 1-11 and 6-21 overall, have lost eight straight games, the long­est losing streak during their 10-year Division I era. UMBC, the only league team to lose to Albany this season, is 2-10 in conference play and 3-22 overall.

“Two teams will be really excited to play [today],” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “I’m sure they can’t wait until we get there. Both teams need a win in the worst way.”

In the first meeting between the two teams this season, the Great Danes held off the Retrievers, 76-69, at SEFCU Arena, but Albany has been in a tailspin ever since.

UMBC, coached by Randy Monroe, reached the finals of the America East tournament last season but suffered heavy graduation losses. The Retrievers also lost one of their top forwards, 6-foot-9 Justin Fry, to season-ending knee surgery.

Sophomore guard Chauncey Gilliam is UMBC’s leading scorer at 13.2 points per game. He scored a career-high 22 points in the Retrievers’ 78-70 win at Hartford Thursday night.

Siena transfer Chris De La Rosa paces the league in assists at 5.2 per game, and is the team’s second-leading scorer at 10.2 ppg. He scored 22 points and added five assists in the Hartford win.

Other key players for UMBC are 7-foot center Robbie Jackson (9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg), who transferred from Marshall, 6-5 senior Matt Spad­afora (7.3 ppg), freshman swingman Adrian Satchell (6.1 ppg) and freshman Shawn Grant (7.6 ppg).

Albany, which has lost nine straight road games this season, will start three freshmen: 6-9 center Blake Metcalf, 6-3 guard Logan Aronhalt and 6-0 guard Mike Black. Fran Urli, a 6-8 junior forward, and Billy Allen, a 6-6 sophomore swingman, are other projected starters.

Urli scored a career-high 14 points in Tuesday’s 62-53 loss to New Hampshire. Black also scored 14 points in that game, while senior forward Will Harris added 12 points off the bench.

“We’ll keep trying to figure it out,” said Brown about his team’s struggles. “I don’t want to try any gimmicks like holding the ball. We are just plain struggling offensively right now, plain and simple. I think we’ve got to continue to try get to the line and pound the glass.”

Junior guard Tim Ambrose (13.3 ppg) and Harris (12.7 ppg) are the Danes’ top two scorers.

Categories: College Sports

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