ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Kicking off the second half of the America East scheduled, the University at Albany men’s basketball team snapped a two-game home losing streak by defeating Binghamton at SEFCU Arena Wednesday night 62-49.
“I’m really proud of our effort. I thought we dealt with a ton of adversity tonight against a dangerous opponent. It’s really nice to see Antonio knock down shots… I thought Malachi was the MVP of the game for us because he did a great job on Sessoms, and Nick had three assists and a steal in four minutes. It was the first time he was called early in a game and he gave us a nice lift. It was a good win for us.”Will Brown – Head Coach
Wednesday was the second and final regular-season meeting between last year’s top two finishers for America East Rookie of the year in winner Sam Sessoms from Binghamton and runner-up Cameron Healy from UAlbany.
Trey Hutcheson opened the game hitting a three on UAlbany’s first possession, giving the Danes an early lead. The Great Danes quickly opened up a lead of 8-2 after another three from Hutcheson, with 16:02 to go in the first.
UAlbany built up to an 8-0 run and an 11-2 lead, capped off by a three-pointer from Ahmad Clark with 14:51 left in the first. Binghamton finally ended the Danes’ run with 13:25 to go with a jumper to cut the lead to seven.
With 10:48 remaining in the first, Healy hit his first three-pointer of the game, extending his made-threes streak to 56 games. The basket gave the Great Danes their first double-digit lead of the night, 16-6.
Senior walk-on and captain Nick Fruscio checked in for the first time with 9:54 remaining in the first. In four minutes of action Wednesday night, Fruscio recorded three assists and one steal.
Binghamton responded with a three before Antonio Rizzuto knocked down his first three of the night to put UAlbany back up by 10. Hutcheson next hit another three with 8:38 to go, putting the Danes up 22-9.
UAlbany led by as many as 16 in the first half, 25-9, after a 9-0 run that ended with a Binghamton three with 6:54 left in the first. The Bearcats hit back-to-back threes to cut the Danes’ lead back to 10. Binghamton would close within eight with 2:17 left before the break before UAlbany pulled away again.
UAlbany took a 12-point, 33-21 lead into the locker room at halftime. Rizzuto led the Great Danes with 12 points on 4-7 from three, and Hutcheson added nine on 3-5 from deep. Collectively, UAlbany shot 9-21 from three in the first half, making just 11 total shots in the first 20 minutes. The Great Dane defense held Binghamton to just 3-14 from three in the first, and held Sessoms scoreless on 0-2 shooting.
Scoring slowed way down to start the second half, with UAlbany and Binghamton combining to shoot 4-25 from the floor in the first eight minutes. With 11:58 to go, UAlbany led 39-31 after Binghamton hit a three to cut the lead to eight.
Adam Lulka quickly put UAlbany back up by double digits with a layup after Binghamton’s three. The Bearcats closed within seven just over one minute of game time later, but would not come any closer.
The Great Danes scored the next five points to go up 12, including another three by Rizzuto. After Binghamton cut the game to nine, UAlbany scored the next six to lead by 15 with 6:01 to go off of two free-throws from Lulka.
UAlbany would lead by as many as 16 again late in the half, and go on to win by 13 after Binghamton hit one final three to end the game. Rizzuto and Hutcheson each scored 17 points while Romani Hansen grabbed 11 rebounds, marking his third game in his last four with double-digit boards. After hitting nine threes in the first half, UAlbany regressed to make just two in the second. Still, the Danes saw great production from their bench, outscoring Binghamton 17-5 after halftime. Sessoms finished the game with nine points on 2-11 shooting.
Next: UAlbany has a bye before visiting Hartford on Wednesday, February 12 for a 7:00 p.m. tip.