Friday, January 16, 2009

Albany (11-6, 3-1) at UMaine (6-11, 1-3)

Saturday, Jan. 17, 1 p.m.
Albany moved into a tie for first place in America East Wednesday when the Great Danes handed Binghamton its first conference loss. The Great Danes have won three straight after losing its league opener at Hartford. The Black Bears have dropped six of seven since defeating Colgate on Dec. 8. The Black Bears have lost nine straight America East games at home, dating to Feb. 25, 2007.

The game is the first of a critical three-game homestand for the Black Bears. If UMaine hopes to make a jump up to the middle of the America East standings, now would be the time to begin that quest. The Great Danes will provide a stark contrast to the Black Bears' last opponent, Hartford. While Hartfood lives from the 3-point line, Albany prefers the game a little closer to the basket. The Great Danes will not back down from hand-to-hand combat. An ominous note for the Black Bears: Albany has shot better than 45 percent from the floor the past two games, well over their season average. Anything less than the season's best performance at both ends of the floor probably won't be enough against the Great Danes.

Great Dane notes: Junior forward Will Harris has posted a double-double in three of the past four games. ... Albany is the top rebounding team in America East, out-boarding its opponents by nearly nine a game. ... 6-0 guard sophomore guard Tim Ambrose (12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists) provides Albany with a solid all-around game. ... Harris, a 6-6 transfer from Virginia, scores 11.7 and grabs 5.9 rebounds per game. ... Freshman guard Anthony Raffa (12.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg) scored 22 and 21 points in Albany's past two games. ... Brian Connelly (8 ppg, 4 rpg), a 6-8 senior forward, is one of six Great Danes averaging at least 4 rebounds per game. ... The Great Danes are 3-1 in one-point games this season.

Last year: The teams split the season series with the Black Bears winning, 81-70 at Albany and the Great Danes prevailing, 74-60, at Alfond Arena.


MattT said...

I am staying home for this one. Maine has lost every game I have attended this year, with the exception of the Laval exhibition game. I stayed away for Colgate and UMPI, their 2 home wins this season. In keeping with superstition, I've decided to watch today's game in the friendly confines of my living room on channel 5. I have a bad feeling that this could be Maine's first conference blow out loss. I'll save my $8, and my voice from becoming hoarse. Playing zone might actually be a good idea today as Raffa and Ambrose will be very difficult matchups for Maine's guards. Ted will probably play a help-switch man and watch his players get burnt to a crisp. I hope not though.

MattT said...

Boy was I wrong about this one, whoops. It was good to see that KO actually has a pulse this year. Everyone played together and with confidence. Lets hope they can string some w's and be ready for UNH on Monday

Dan King said...

There were a couple times when it looked like the Black Bears were going to go into one of those extended funks, but they got themselves together in time to blunt a couple of Albany bursts. If it weren't for so many Albany layups late in the game when the Black Bears got a little soft inside, Albany probably would have had a shooting percentage in the low 30s. Still too many turnovers, but they really battled them. Albany plays hard every game, so it was good to see us fighting hard in the paint and also getting out on their couple guys that can shoot from outside. We need to keep building on the consistency and get these next two at home, beginning with UNH.