ALBANY — The Albany Patroons did all the things it might not have been fun to do on a hot night, but reaped the reward Saturday.
The Patroons (19-3) controlled the boards, played solid defense and got its share of fast-break points in easily beating Tri State 139-79 in a The Basketball League game at Washington Avenue Armory.
With the win, the Patroons clinched at least a tie for the Northeast Division title. Second-place Atlantic City would have to win its last five games of the regular season to tie them.
It took Tri State’s last rally of the night somewhat early in the third quarter to awaken the beast in the Patroons. Once up by 20 early in the second quarter, the Patroons only lead by 10, 66-56, before going on an important 14-0 run.
The run started with consecutive baskets by Jared Sam and Anthony Moe, both of whom scored on pick-and-rolls.
From there, Albany kept its foot on the gas pedal, which pleased coach Will Brown.
“Our guys sometimes fall in a trap, if we’ve beaten somebody a couple of times, they play to the level of their competition, and that’s no disrespect to Tri State,” Brown said. “We get a lead and then we cruise, we get a lead and they come back. We’ve just got to put our foot down and open games up, and the best way to do that is defend and rebound, because when we do that and get stops, we’re really good in transition.”
They were Saturday. After the 14-0 run, the Patroons closed out the third on another 9-4 run.
The fourth quarter was just a highlight show, as all 11 players who played scored. As a team, Albany shot 61.7% from the field. Anthony Moe, a nimble 6-foot-10 center from Millersville University led eight double-digit scorers with a game-high 28 points and 14 rebounds.
Brown said he wasn’t entirely pleased with Albany’s first-half effort, though it was good enough for a 56-41 lead on the backs of those things that are uncomfortable when it’s 89 degrees at tipoff. They had outrebounded Tri State 30-21 at that point — it ended up 62-37 — and had 36 points in the paint and 16 fast-break points.
“But I also played everybody in the first half,” Brown said. “Sometimes when you play too many people, it’s hard to get into a flow or a rhythm. I thought in the third quarter we got into a nice rhythm and shared the basketball. But more importantly, collectively we did a good job on the defensive side of the ball.”
Reserve JC Show, from Binghamton University, had a strong game with 21 points. Luther Page, a 6-8 forward, added a double-double of 17 points and 16 rebounds. AJ Mosby had 14 points and seven assists.
The 139 points were the second-highest Albany scored this season.
The Patroons have two more games in the regular season remaining, Friday at home vs. Massachusetts and Saturday, May 28 at Connecticut.
Tri State 20 21 19 19 – 79
Albany 25 31 35 48 – 139
Tri State scoring: Johnson 2-0-5, Chaplin 3-0-8, Butler 3-2-8, Doss 4-1-9, White 8-0-18, Culbreath 0-2-2, Hardiman 7-0-14, Wallace 1-0-2, Warren 3-5-13. Albany scoring: Dillard 1-0-2, Mosby 6-1-14, Williams 3-2-9, Sam 5-0-10, Moe 12-4-28, Newton 2-0-4, Wyche 4-2-11, Williams 5-0-11, Glasford 5-0-12, Show 8-1-21, Page 7-3-17.
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