UAlbany men’s basketball falls at St. John’s, 85-57

Local Sports

QUEENS, N.Y. – Kicking off a four-game road swing, the University at Albany men’s basketball team visited St. John’s Wednesday night for a nationally televised game.  After starting hot, the Great Danes succumbed to the Red Storm’s stifling defense and fell by a final score of 85-57.

After a scoreless first minute, UAlbany got on the board first with a three-pointer from Malachi de Sousa.  de Sousa hit a contested layup after the Great Dane defense forced a St. John’s turnover to put UAlbany up 5-0 early.

With 17:18 left in the first, Cameron Healy hit a three from the top right corner, extended his made-threes streak to 45 games and putting UAlbany up 8-3.

A dunk in transition with 14:59 remaining in the first gave St. John’s its first lead of the night, 9-8, following a 6-0 run.  The Red Storm’s run built to 21-0 and lasted nearly 11 minutes before UAlbany scored again with 6:17 left in the first, a baseline layup from Romani Hansen, to cut the lead to 24-10.

By the end of their drought, UAlbany had missed 14 of their previous 15 shots, and 10 of their last 11 three-point attempts.

UAlbany followed their drought by scoring seven quick points, cutting St. John’s’ lead to 11.  The Red Storm responded with a three-pointer to go back up by 14, 29-15.

A three-pointer with 4:17 remaining gave de Sousa his 10th point of the game, and brought UAlbany within 29-18.  de Sousa had accounted for more than half of UAlbany’s points so far and had shot 4-5 from the floor.

Hansen drew a foul on the baseline with 3:21 left in the first, drawing the Danes’ first free throws of the night.  He hit both to cut the Red Storm lead to 34-20.

St. John’s took a 35-22 lead into halftime.  de Sousa scored 12 points in the first half on 5-6 shooting, including 2-3 from three.  St. John’s had outscored UAlbany 24-8 in the paint, and 15-4 off turnovers.

de Sousa kicked off the second half drawing a foul on a driving layup and hitting the free throw, tying his career-high with 15 points.  He set a new career-high 17 points with 15:29 to go in the second.

Another three-point play with 14:48 to go gave de Sousa his first 20-point game as a Great Dane.  St. John’s responded with five quick points to go up by 20, 52-32.

Mid-way through the second, UAlbany put together a quick 6-0 run to cut the Red Storm lead to 63-45.

St. John’s went on an 11-0 run late in the second half to build their lead to 30.  Antonio Rizzuto broke the run with a three-pointer with 2:07 to go.

The Red Storm went on to win by a final score of 85-57.  St. John’s outscored UAlbany 54-24 in the paint and 41-25 off the bench.  de Sousa finished with a career-and game-high 22 points on 8-11 shooting.

Next: The Great Danes continue their four-game road swing Saturday at Monmouth for a 2:00 p.m. tip.  UAlbany returns home to face Maine on January 11.

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