Black’s injury deflates Danes

Before the season began, University at Albany head coach Will Brown said the Great Danes would go as

Before the season began, University at Albany head coach Will Brown said the Great Danes would go as far as soph­omore point guard Mike Black would take them.

But in their season’s debut Friday night, the Great Danes never got the opportunity to see where that would be because Black injured his ankle with 5:35 left in the first half, and never returned.

Although the youthful Great Danes made the game interesting, they came up short as Cornell posted a 65-61 triumph before a crowd of 3,983 at SEFCU Arena.

Even without Black, the Great Danes had a chance to tie the game when Cornell’s Adam Wire missed the front end of a one-and-one with 14.3 seconds left. Logan Aronhalt grabbed the rebound, and the Danes moved upcourt quickly. Tim Amb­rose missed a driving shot inside the lane with 3.7 seconds left, and that was the game. Andrew Ferry added a free throw with 2.5 seconds remaining for the Big Red for the final margin.

The Big Red, who advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 a year ago, placed four players in double figures, led by Max Groebe with 15, and they connected on 10 of 28 shots from three-point range to offset a 52.1 percent shooting performance by the Great Danes.

Ambrose came off the bench to score a game-high 20 points for the Great Danes, while Aronholt added 13 and freshman forward Luke Devlin and Black finished with 10 apiece.

“If Mike Black didn’t get hurt, I like our chances,” said Brown. “I felt going in that he would be the best player on the court. For our team, he’s the engine.”

When Black went down in the first half, Brown admitted he was extremely concerned.

“I said, ‘Oh [crap].’ I’m not going to lie to you.”

“Losing Mike hurts us. He def­initely runs the show for us,” said Aronhalt. “But even though we’re better with Mike, that doesn’t mean we can’t win without him.”

Brown said the severity of the injury is not yet known. If it’s a high ankle sprain, Black could miss more time.

“We need our engine, but this could be a chance for some of our other players to step up,” said Brown.

“Any time you win on the road, it’s a good win,” said first-year Cornell head coach Bill Courtney. “He’s [Black’s] obviously a very important part of their team, and it takes away from your team when you lose your point guard. I know, because we had our point guard [Chris Wroblewski] injured this week, and he couldn’t play, either.”

The Danes looked sharp early. With Black leading a fast-break attack, Albany ran out to a 22-10 lead. But when Black injured the ankle on a layup attempt, SEFCU Arena went quiet. Cornell regrouped quickly and eventually climbed to within just two, 37-35, at halftime.

Cornell took the lead for good when Groebe nailed a three-pointer to put the Big Red in front, 55-52, with 8:10 remaining.

“We did some good things,” said Brown. “We’ve got some good, young players.”

“I thought I did OK, but I’ve never played in front of a crowd this big,” said Devlin, a native of Sydney, Australia who was making his collegiate debut.

Albany hosts American Monday night.


Osgood 6-7 2-3 14, Peck 1-5 1-2 3, Groebe 5-10 2-2 15, Asafo-Adjei 0-3 0-0 0, Wire 1-2 0-1 2, Gatlin 0-0 0-0 0, Ferry 4-15 1-2 12, Gray 4-6 0-0 12, Tarwater 2-3 1-2 5, Coury 1-2 0-0 0, Sahota 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-53 7-12 65.


Devlin 4-8 1-2 10, Puk 1-2 0-0 2, Aronhalt 6-16 0-0 13, Black 3-4 4-4 10, Moore 1-2 0-0 2, Iati 0-0 0-0 0, Metcalf 1-2 0-2 2, Watts 0-1 0-0 0, Ambrose 8-12 2-4 20, Lindfors 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 24-58 7-12 61.

Halftime: Albany 37-35. Three-point goals: Cornell 10-28 (eck 0-1, Groebe 3-5, Asafo-Adjei 0-3, Ferry 3-12, Gray 4-6, Tarwater 0-1), Albany 4-12 (Devlin 1-3, Aronhalt 1-6, Ambrose 2-3). Rebounds: Cornell 31 (Wire 11), Albany 31 (Devlin 9). Assists: Cornell 14 (Peck 4, Asafo-Adjei 4); Albany 9 (Ambrose 4). Personal fouls: Cornell 14, Albany 15. Officials: Jeff Plunkett, Michael Pilla, Chris Ogden. Attendance: 3,983.

Categories: High School Sports

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