UAlbany vs. Wagner: Travel problems continue for Danes

A tired University at Albany men’s basketball team tries to bounce back from a sound beating by Xavi

A tired University at Albany men’s basketball team tries to bounce back from a sound beating by Xavier when the Great Danes visit Wagner tonight in Staten Island.

The Great Danes (7-7) had their three-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night when the Musk­eteers pounded them, 88-64. Schen­ectady native Mark Lyons, who hitched a bus ride with the Great Danes from Albany to Cincinnati Sunday night because his flight was canceled, scored 18 points. The Musketeers placed five players in double-figure scoring and shot 56.9 percent from the floor.

The Great Danes, who were forced into a 12-hour bus ride Sunday night because the snowstorm canceled their flight out of Albany International Airport, continued to have travel problems Wednesday. They flew to Newark, N.J., but their bus didn’t show up, so they didn’t arrive at their hotel until 6 p.m.

After checking in at the hotel, they went directly to practice and didn’t finish until nearly 9 p.m.

“It’s been a different kind of road trip,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “It certainly hasn’t gone smoothly.”

Albany, which had won six of its previous seven games before being derailed by Xavier, will face a 4-7 Wagner team that has been struggling of late, but is very much like UAlbany in terms of style.

“We are very similar because both of us depend on our three perimeter players,” said Brown. “I think, the key will be which perimeter guys play better. The wild card would be which big men play better.”

The Seahawks have lost four games in a row. They are guided by first-year head coach Danny Hurley, who took over for former Siena College coach Mike Deane. Hurley is the brother of former Duke All-American Bobby Hurley Jr. and the son of legendary high school coach Bob Hurley Sr., who turned St. Anthony’s High School of Jersey City, N.J., into a national scholastic power.

Hurley played for his father at St. Anthony’s, and then excelled at Seton Hall. After graduating, he became an assistant coach at Rutgers before embarking on a sim­ilar career to his father’s, coaching St. Benedict’s Prep of Newark, N.J., to a nine-year record of 223-21.

“Dan Hurley comes from a great background with his father and his brother. The one thing I know is that his teams will play hard. That’s the thing that has impressed me the most about them,” said Brown.

The Seahawks are a deadly free-throw shooting team (78 percent) that features three guards in the starting lineup. Tyler Murray, a 6-foot-5 junior, paces the team in scoring (15.9 ppg) and rebounding (5.2 pg). Latif Rivers, a 6-1 junior, adds 14.5 ppg and shoots 94 percent from the line, while 5-10 junior Chris Martin contributes 9.5 ppg.

Up front, Wagner features 6-11 freshman center Naofall Folahan (4.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and 6-8 freshman forward Orlando Parker (4.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg).

The Great Danes continue to get most of their scoring from their per­imeter game. Senior guard Tim Ambrose, who scored 24 points against Xavier, leads the team in scoring (17.9 ppg ) and is 12th on the team’s all-time scoring list with 1,301 points.

Sophomore guard Logan Aronhalt (17.1 ppg) and sophomore point guard Mike Black (12.9 ppg) also are averaging in double figures. Rounding out the starting lineup are 6-8 freshman forward Luke Devlin, who leads the team in rebounding (5.6 rpg), and 6-10 freshman center John Puk. Sophomore forward/center Blake Metcalf (5.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is the team’s top reserve.

Tonight’s game concludes a three-game road trip for the Great Danes, who return home to host New Hampshire on Sunday in the America East Conference opener.

Categories: College Sports

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