Albany

UAlbany men’s basketball wins, but Charles hurts knee

Severity of injury is unknown
UAlbany's Travis Charles hurt his left knee during Saturday's win.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
UAlbany's Travis Charles hurt his left knee during Saturday's win.

ALBANY — A week out from the America East tournament, the University at Albany men’s basketball team isn’t sure about the availability of one of its best players.

In the final minute of Saturday’s 89-79 win against Maine at SEFCU Arena, UAlbany fifth-year senior Travis Charles got the worse end of a collision with Maine sophomore Andrew Fleming. The foul sent Charles down to the court immediately, where he smacked the ground and screamed.

“Obviously,” UAlbany head coach Will Brown said, “he was in pain.”

Favoring his left knee, Charles was able to — gingerly — leave the court under his own power, but he did not finish the contest. Charles, who had 16 points and 14 rebounds against Maine, did appear to be moving fine during post-game handshakes, but Brown said the Great Danes wouldn’t know for sure if Charles is OK until its seen if his knee swells Sunday.

“That will determine how we move forward,” Brown said.

UAlbany junior Joe Cremo, who scored a team-high 24 points and moved into the program’s all-time top-10 scoring list, said he was “pretty worried” when he saw Charles not immediately get back up. He thought the Great Danes’ third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, though, will be fine.

“I think he’s OK,” Cremo said. “Might just take a couple days to get back.”

UAlbany did not make Charles available to media members after the game. Junior guard David Nichols also was not made available after he picked up a technical foul after jawing face-to-face with Maine redshirt junior Aaron Calixte — who also received a technical, which fouled him out — after the play that left Charles on the ground.

Brown said he didn’t have an issue with Nichols sticking up for his teammate, but didn’t like that his point guard let the situation escalate to the point where he got a technical.

“[Y]ou got to handle it the right way,” Brown said. “He’s a junior now.”

Cremo, too, engaged verbally with a Maine player after the final-minute foul against Charles, but did not receive a technical.

“Not much,” Cremo said of what he said in that instance. “I just thought he kind of dove a little toward [Charles’] knee. Most of the time I think I carry myself pretty well out there. I just said a little something to him. Nothing crazy.”

Brown said he didn’t see the play clearly enough to comment on the intent of Maine’s Fleming, while Maine head coach Bob Walsh echoed that sentiment. Walsh, too, said he missed how the post-foul chatting began near his team’s bench.

“I knew that wasn’t a good situation,” Walsh said. “We just tried to clear it out.”

UAlbany (9-6, 21-9) controlled play throughout against Maine (3-12, 6-24). The Great Danes led 39-26 at halftime and maintained at least a two-possession lead throughout the second half. Besides Cremo’s 20 points and Charles’ 16, Nichols also scored 16 and senior Greig Stire added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Overall, UAlbany out-rebounded Maine 45-26.

“Albany just has such a great identity. Will does such a good job,” Walsh said. “They’re so physically tough, and they play physical at all five positions.”

Before Saturday’s game, UAlbany spot in the conference tournament was determined. The Great Danes are the No. 4 seed and they will play No. 5 Stony Brook next Saturday at SEFCU Arena. UAlbany swept Stony Brook during the regular season.

One game, though, remains in UAlbany’s regular season. That’s Tuesday at SEFCU Arena against last-place Binghamton, and Brown said all of his players healthy enough to play will suit up for that night’s contest.

“The biggest concern is Travis’ well-being,” Brown said. “Hopefully, he’s healthy — and, if not, [we’ll] try to get him healthy as soon as we can.”

MAINE

Fleming 4-7 3-4 11, Stojiljkovic 0-2 2-2 2, Calixte 10-14 2-3 25, Araujo 1-2 0-0 2, White 9-16 2-3 22, Evans 1-3 0-0 2, Antoms 0-0 0-2 0, Lowndes 5-12 2-3 12, Melmed 0-0 0-0 0, Ashley 1-3 0-0 3. Totals: 31-59 11-17 79.

UALBANY

Charles 6-13 4-6 16, Stire 3-7 9-10 11, Campbell 2-7 4-4 8, Nichols 5-14 5-6 16, Cremo 7-15 7-10 24, Anderson 1-2 0-0 3, Clark 1-2 0-0 3, Foster 2-6 0-1 4. Totals: 27-65 29-37 89.

Halftime score: UAlbany 39, Maine 26. Three-point shooting: Maine 6-16 (Fleming 0-1, Calixte 3-5, Araujo 0-1, White 2-4, Evans 0-2, Lowndes 0-1, Ashley 1-2), UAlbany 6-16 (Campbell 0-2, Nichols 1-4, Cremo 3-7, Anderson 1-2, Clark 1-1). Rebounds: Maine 26 (Fleming 8), UAlbany 45 (Charles 14). Assists: Maine 17 (Araujo 5), UAlbany 12 (Nichols, Cremo 4).

Turnovers: Maine 19, UAlbany 14. Total fouls: Maine 27, UAlbany 17. Fouled out: Fleming, Stojiljkovic, Calixte, White. Technicals: Calixte, Nichols. Attendance: 2,496.

Reach Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.

Categories: College Sports, Sports

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