University at Albany hopes to bounce back from its worst loss of the season when the Great Danes visit Binghamton tonight at 7 in Vestal’s Events Center.
The Danes, 1-1 in the America East Conference and 12-4 overall, are coming off a 70-45 loss at Vermont.
The 25-point defeat was the most lopsided setback of the season. They lost by 22 points at perennial power Ohio State, but their other two defeats were by a combined five points.
“For the most part, we’ve put ourselves in position to have a chance to win in almost all of our previous 15 games,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “I can’t explain what happened in this game, but we were completely out of it by halftime. It’s mind-boggling. I thought we would play well at Vermont, and we were certainly well prepared. But we got off to a slow start, and we made some turnovers that led to some easy baskets for Vermont. You can’t afford to give up easy baskets to a team like Vermont.”
The Great Danes shot only 35 percent from the field, while the Catamounts clicked on better than 50 percent of their field-goal attempts.
Senior guard Jacob Iati, one of the team’s top two scorers at 16 points per game, scored only two points on 1-for-8 shooting.
“We were never in sync,” Brown said. “It had nothing to do with the past. I just can’t pinpoint exactly what happened to us, but these things can happen.
“A loss is a loss. I don’t know if we would have felt better if we had lost a close game in double overtime. It was just a bad, ugly loss for us. We’ve got to put that game behind us. I’m glad we have a quick turnaround.”
Binghamton is off to a slow start at 0-1 and 2-12, but the Bearcats are respectable at home (2-4) and have one of the best fan bases in the conference.
The top player for the Bearcats is 6-foot-4 freshman swingman Jordan Reed, who is second in the league in scoring (16.9 ppg) and first in rebounding (10.6 rpg).
“Binghamton is coming off a tough loss at Hartford, and they always play well on their home court,” said Brown. “Reed is a great athlete. He’s 6-4 and 215 pounds. He’s a man who can use his athlet-icism to score. We’ve got to try to contain him, but we also have to be concerned about their three perimeter players, because they like to shoot the three-pointers.”
Jimmy Gray (11.1 ppg, 32 three-pointers), Rayner Moquete (8.8 ppg, 23 three-pointers) and Taylor Johnston (6.3 ppg, 19 three-pointers) are the other key Bearcats.
UAlbany’s top players are senior guards Mike Black (16.0 ppg) and Iati (15.2 ppg). Blake Metcalf, John Puk and Jayson Guerrier complete the starting lineup.
The Great Danes return home to host Maine Saturday night at SEFCU Arena.