Great Danes beaten in first round, finish 7-25

The eighth-seeded Great Danes concluded their worst Division I season with a 68-59 loss to top-seede
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University at Albany finished the season like it played most of the year — with flashes of brilliance but not nearly enough of them to be successful.

The eighth-seeded Great Danes concluded their worst Division I season with a 68-59 loss to top-seeded Stony Brook in the quarterfinals of the America East Conference Championship Saturday at Chase Arena.

Albany (7-25) played solidly early in the game, fell behind by 16 with four minutes left, and then stormed back to make things interesting with four three-pointers in the final two minutes, pulling to within six in the final 45 seconds.

But the Seawolves were too talented to overtake, and the youthful Great Danes didn’t possess enough talent or execute well enough to pull off the upset.

Stony Brook (22-8) featured a balanced lineup with four double-digit scorers, led by Chris Martin with 15 points and seven rebounds. He also sank 12 of 15 free throws, including 9-for-10 in the first half.

Tommy Brenton chipped in with 13 points and 16 rebounds, while Bryan Dougher and Muhammad El-Amin scored 12 each for the Seawolves, who pulled down 18 offensive rebounds and held the Danes to just 30 percent shooting in the second half.

“It’s tough to play a team that had nothing to lose,” said Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell, whose team won its first conference regular-season title. “Every time we played Albany, it’s been a war. Our plan was to keep them off the foul line and to rebound. Scoring is never an issue for us. Every game, someone different steps up.”

“Hats off to Stony Brook,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “Stony Brook has been the most consistent team in our conference all year. We thought if we did certain things well that we’d be successful in this game, but they do some things too well. They got to more loose balls, and they grabbed a lot of offensive rebounds.”

The Danes did have some bright spots. Freshman guard Mike Black scored 17 points, including the first 11 of the second half before fouling out and injuring his tailbone on an offensive charge with 3:13 left. Senior forward Will Harris added 15 points and seven rebounds, and redshirt freshman Logan Aronhalt chipped in with 16 points and six rebounds.

“I honestly thought we were going to win this game, both before the game and even in the second half,” said Harris.

“Coach prepared us well, but we just missed a lot of shots in the second half,” added Black.

ALBANY (59)

Aronhalt 4-14 5-6 16, Harris 6-16 0-0 15, Black 6-12 3-4 17, McRae 0-5 0-1 0, Gifford 0-1 0-0 0, Urli 0-3 2-2 2, Tartt 0-0 0-0 0, Metcalf 1-4 0-0 2, Ambrose 3-5 0-0 7, Allen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 20-60 10-13 59.

STONY BROOK (68)

Dougher 5-13 0-1 12, Joyner 4-8 1-3 9, Brenton 3-4 7-9 13, Martin 1-9 12-15 15, El-Amin 5-16 2-4 12, Preboye 1-2 0-0 2, Carter 0-0 0-0 0, Rouse 1-5 0-0 3, Castellanos 0-0 0-2 0, Goba 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 21-58 22-34 68.

Halftime: Stony Brook 31-28. Three-point goals: Albany 9-23 (Aronhalt 3-8, Harris 3-7, Blasck 2-5, McRae 0-1, Ambrose 1-2), Stony Brook 4-12 (Dougher 2-8, Martin 1-1, El-Amin 0-1, Rouse 1-2). Rebounds: Albany 42 (Metcalf 9), Stony Brook 44 (Brenton 16). Assists: Albany 8 (Aronhalt 2, Harris 2, Ambrose 2), Stony Brook 9 (Brenton 3, El-Amin 3). Personal fouls: Albany 28, Stony Brook 15. Fouled out: Black, Ambrose. Officials: Jeffrey Bryant, Michael Pilla, Jeff Nichols.

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