Saturday, November 27, 2010

Aronhalt stars in UAlbany victory

DETROITLogan Aronhalt continues to show why the University at Albany coaching staff was so high on him.

The Great Danes sophomore guard scored 23 of his career-high 30 points in the second half on Saturday evening as his team posted a 75-65 victory over Niagara in the Legends Classic at the University of Detroit Mercy’s Calihan Hall.

“We’re getting a lot of guys to contribute right now,” said UAlbany coach Will Brown. “We’re getting into a groove right now.”

Even after struggling to a 6-for-24 mark from the field on Friday night, Aronhalt didn’t hesitate to fire away.

“When I saw the 2-3 zone, my eyes lit up,” said Aronhalt, who is now averaging 19.7 points per game. “Everyone did a good job of looking for me. That’s the best that I’ve shot the ball since I’ve been in college.”

Aronhalt has now scored 25 or more points in three of UAlbany’s last four games.

UAlbany also got a career effort from sophomore Mike Black, who scored 19 points and redshirt freshman John Puk, who grabbed 10 rebounds.

“We had a lot of people step up,” said Brown, who saw freshman Luke Devlin go down after getting hit in both eyes with the elbows from Niagara’s Kashief Edwards.

In Devlin’s absence, both Puk and Blake Metcalf stepped up and played almost 30 minutes.

Aronhalt played more than anyone though, as he only came out for one minute of action.

Aronhalt became the program’s most recent player to score 30 or more points in a game. The last Great Danes player to do so was Jason Siggers, who scored 34 points against Vermont on Jan. 13, 2007.

The Great Danes (2-5) were still trailing 29-25 in the first half, before ripping off eight straight points.

Senior guard Tim Ambrose knocked down a 3-pointer from very deep and Aronhalt followed with a long-range jumper.

Black completed the run when he connected on a bucket through traffic as UAlbany took a 36-33 halftime lead.

The Great Danes broke opened a 63-49 lead with eight minutes to play.

“We had better communication (on defense) and recognized their sets better in the second half,” Aronhalt said.

The Purple Eagles (2-3) did cut the lead to seven as they went on a 13-6 run late in the game.

“We got a little rattled down the stretch, but we rebounded and responded,” Brown said.

Anthony Nelson finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Lemmons chipped in 15 for the Purple Eagles.

Ambrose finished with 14 points and now is 17th in program history with 1,163 career points. Ambrose passed Antione Johnson (1999-03) and now sits just 15 points behind current assistant coach Brent Wilson (2004-08).

The Great Danes played very well, considering they played a double overtime game, losing to Detroit 84-82 on Friday night.

“I’m happy,” Brown said. “We played such a tough game last night and you never know how the kids are going to respond.”

UAlbany has won two of their last four games and the Great Danes are seemingly getting better every day.

“I’m learning about this team every day,” Brown said. “I can’t wait to wake them up and play (today).”

UAlbany takes on Bowling Green and former Siena coach Louis Orr, today at 3 p.m., in the final game of the Legends Classic.

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