Albany, N.Y. (NEWS10) — For the second game in a row, their second in three days, the University at Albany men’s basketball team struggled offensively, leading to a 68-56 defeat at the hands of the visiting New Hampshire Wildcats.
“Tonight was the second game in a row where we struggled to score the basketball. We shot 3-21 from three and didn’t finish enough opportunities near the basket. UNH came out and played well. They made seven threes in the first half, and a lot of that was our doing. I don’t think we did a good job executing the scout….”Will Brown – Head Coach
Two minutes elapsed in the game before either team scored. Cameron Healy notched the first points of the game with a layup with 17:56 to go in the first.
Trailing 6-2, New Hampshire went on an 8-0 run to take a 10-6 lead with 14:50 to go in the first. Sasha French, making his second career start, and first since December 21 at Monmouth, snapped the run with a hook shot from the block on the Danes’ ensuing possession.
Back-to-back threes put New Hampshire up 16-8 with 13:31 to go, forcing a UAlbany timeout as the Wildcats’ run had grown to 14-2.
UAlbany scored seven of the next 10 points to cut New Hampshire’s lead to 19-15 with 11:37 to go following a three-pointer from Trey Hutcheson. Nearly three minutes later, the Wildcats hit a jumper to go back up by seven.
Trailing 26-17, Antonio Rizzuto drilled a three with 6:46 left in the first to cut into New Hampshire’s lead. UAlbany ultimately closed within five over the remainder of the first half, before the Wildcats pulled away to close out the first.
New Hampshire took a 35-26 lead into halftime. They had outrebounded UAlbany 22-14 over the first 20 minutes while shooting 7-12 from three. Conversely, UAlbany struggled from deep, shooting just 2-12. Clark led the Great Danes with 10 points, and UAlbany had outscored New Hampshire 6-0 in transition.
Romani Hansen hit two free throws out of the break to bring UAlbany quickly within seven. Two minutes later, Clark hit one of two free throws to make the score 35-29 in favor of the Wildcats.
New Hampshire ended its drought to start the second half with a layup with 17:07 to go, and soon went up by 10 after another layup with 16:19 remaining.
Clark hit a three with 14:33 to go to cut New Hampshire’s lead to five. The Great Dane defense drew a foul on the Wildcats’ ensuing possession to retake possession. Clark took advantage of the turnover, hitting a jumper to cut New Hampshire’s lead further to three.
New Hampshire ended UAlbany’s quick run with a three in the corner to go back up by six. The Wildcats used a 9-2 run to take a 10-point lead, 46-36, with 11:12 remaining.
After the Wildcats took an 11-point lead, Clark went to the line and hit two free throws with 5:52 to go to cut the lead back to single digits, 52-43. New Hampshire responded with a 5-0 run to go up 57-43 with 4:44 remaining.
UAlbany never closed closer than 12 for the remainder of the game, and the Wildcats went on to win by 12, 68-56, after leading by as many as 15 in the final four minutes. Clark finished with 24 points, shooting 13-18 from the line and drawing 12 fouls. Hansen finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. For New Hampshire, Sean Sutherlin scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Healy saw his streak of consecutive games with a made three pointer end at 58, marking the first time in his career he did not hit a three in a game.
New Hampshire outscored UAlbany 30-24 in the paint, and outrebounded the Great Danes 35-31. The Wildcats’ defense held UAlbany to just 3-21 shooting from deep, and 17-56 from the floor overall. UAlbany forced 13 Wildcats’ turnovers, leading to nine points.