ALBANY — In preparing his team to defend UAlbany redshirt sophomore Cameron Healy, Hartford men’s basketball head coach John Gallagher didn’t shy away from hyping up the player coming off a 41-point performance.
“We showed every highlight,” Gallagher said after his team’s 62-48 win Saturday at SEFCU Arena.
The message he wanted to send to his team?
“Look, he could humiliate you,” Gallgher said. “So you’ve got to be ready.”
He added: “And I think we took that challenge.”
After Healy made 13 of 23 shots in setting UAlbany’s single-game scoring record Wednesday against UMass Lowell, the 6-foot-3 guard made 2 of 13 shots for 10 points against Hartford.
“Law of averages, I guess,” UAlbany head coach Will Brown said of his star’s shooting performance.
Hartford made things difficult for Healy, too. Whether it played man-to-man defense or a 1-3-1 zone, Hartford made sure not to lose sight of Healy, and kept him from ample catch-and-shoot opportunities.
Healy missed some shots he normally makes, too.
“Obviously, there was a little more [defensive] focus there on Ahmad [Clark] and myself,” Healy said. “You can see it in the shooting percentages, but I’m not sure that’s the complete reason for it.”
After UAlbany moved the ball at a season-best level against UMass Lowell and scored a season-high 101 points, that same approach wasn’t there Saturday against Hartford.
“We have to understand that fine line,” said Brown, whose team made 25% of its shots against Hartford. “When the ball sticks, we are not good. When the ball moves side to side, we’re solid. But we are not good when we dribble, dribble, dribble — watch, watch, watch. We’re just not good enough to do that.”
After struggling late in the non-conference season, senior Romani Hansen continues to make progress in turning around his season with the Great Danes.
The 6-foot-8 transfer from Savannah State had seven points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes against Hartford, which followed a performance against UMass Lowell in which Hansen had 12 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes. Against UMass Lowell, Hansen also had two steals and two blocks.
“The activity,” Brown said, “that’s what we need.”
On the season, Hansen is averaging 4.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 21 games.
A GLANCE AT THE STANDINGS
With each America East Conference team having played at least six league games, UAlbany is in a three-way tie for second place at 4-2 along with Hartford and Stony Brook. Vermont is in first place at 5-1.
At this point in the season, Brown said he’s not checking the standings.
“It means nothing to me. We don’t talk about standings,” Brown said. “I’ve got one guy on my staff who talks about standings — Jon Iati — and I let him talk about standings because all he did when he played for me was win.”
As a player at UAlbany, Iati — now UAlbany’s associate head coach — scored 1,142 points and his teams won a pair of conference championships.