University at Albany’s basketball team has read this story before, and the Great Danes didn’t like the ending the first time.
Just like what happened in their last home game against Bucknell, the Great Danes got burned by the three-pointer time after time as Colgate, among the national leaders in three-pointers made per game (11), connected for 13 treys en route to a 69-60 non-conference victory Saturday night at SEFCU Arena.
Stormy weather outside kept the crowd down, and the energy level from the Great Danes wasn’t much higher. UAlbany couldn’t offset the Raiders’ outside shooting punch, especially in the final five minutes, when Colgate nailed four consecutive trifectas to clinch the game.
Despite several defensive lapses, UAlbany pulled to within 54-52 when Sam Rowley made one of two free throws with 5:28 left.
But that’s when Colgate closed the door with a pair of threes by Austin Tillotson and one each by Murphy Burnatowski and Damo Sherman-Newsome.
The Danes made a final push with driving layups by Rowley and Peter Hooley to cut the deficit to 66-60 with 1:11 to go, but Colgate made three of four at the line to secure its fifth win in nine games.
“We like to take what the defense gives us,” said Colgate head coach Matt Langell. “We believe it’s all about what our players do best. We try to put our guys in position where they can have success. We felt tonight that it was best for our guys to step behind the screens and take the threes from a little deeper. We try to take our shots in rhythm.”
Langell said he’ll take the three-point shot instead of the two any time when it’s done in rhythm.
“That’s a good recipe for success most of the time,” he said. “We were 13-for-28, and that’s about what we’ve been able to do all season. We’re about one-third of the way through the season, so far, and we’ve been able to shoot the three-point shot, so far.”
Burnatowski finished with 19 points, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc, while Tillotson had 16 points,
including 3-for-4 from three-point range. Sherman-Newsome had 15 points.
“We did a really bad job of defending the three-point shot,” said Rowley, who led the Great Danes with 21 points and 11 rebounds. “We didn’t adapt to what they were doing. We weren’t in foul trouble, so we should have been more aggressive as far as defending the three-pointer, especially in the first half. We were helping too much on defense.”
“We knew they were good shooters from three-point range,” said senior Gary Johnson, who contributed 14 points and five rebounds. “We knew they were good from three-point range, but we were a step slow on defense. We also
had a couple of miscommunications.”
The 5-5 Great Danes made only two of 10 shots from three-point range, and were just 6-for-12 from the foul line.
“It was a tough matchup for us,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “If you take the Pittsburgh game out of it, the toughest two matchups for us because of their style of play were Bucknell and Colgate. Colgate is a team that has a power forward and a center who combine for 14 three-pointers. They can shoot the three from every position. They buried us,
39-6, in points from three-pointers, and we couldn’t get to the line. I don’t think we had the energy we needed, as well.”
That lack of energy was exhibited in the first half, when Colgate scored the first 10 points of the game. UAlbany eventually bounced back and took a 36-34 halftime lead, but the Danes kept giving up threes while making twos in the second half.
UAlbany led by as much as
41-37 early in the second half, but a 9-0 run put the Raiders on top for good.
“They spread us out shooting the three, and we struggled defensively in the last eight minutes of the game,” said Brown.
“Tonight was a game where we needed someone to step up and make some jump shots to take the pressure off of Sam Rowley. We didn’t get any perimeter shooting tonight.”
Senior point guard DJ Evans scored 11 points but was only 4-for-14 from the floor. Senior center John Puk scored only four points, but he had 10 rebounds.
UAlbany hosts Yale Friday night.
Tillotson 6-7 1-2 16, Roh 2-4 0-0 4, Moore 1-3 0-0 3, Burnatowski 7-15 0-0 19, Jacobs 3-11 0-0 7, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, McMullen 1-3 0-0 0, Graham 1-1 0-0 2, Sherman-Newsome 5-11 3-3 15. Totals: 26-55 4-5 69.
Evans 4-14 2-2 11, Hooley 3-10 1-1 8, S. Rowley 10-16 1-4 21, Johnson 6-8 2-4 14, Puk 2-7 0-1 4, Shengelia 0-1 0-0 0, Haas 0-1 0-0 0, M. Rowley 0-2 0-0 0, Devlin 1-1 0-0 2, Wiegmann 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 26-60 6-12 60.
Halftime: UAlbany, 36-34. Three-point goals: Colgate 13-28 (Tillotson 3-4, Moore 1-3, Burnatowski 5-7, Jacobs 1-7, McMullen 1-2, Sherman-Newsome 2-5); UAlbany 2-10 (Evans 1-5, Hooley 1-4, M. Rowley 0-1). Rebounds: Colgate 30 (Roh 7), UAlbany 37 (S. Rowley 11). Assists: Colgate 14 (Roh 5), UAlbany 12 (Johnson 4). Total fouls: Colgate 13, UAlbany 12. Attendance: 1,821.