Sunday, January 30, 2011

VIDEO: Siena vs. Niagara

From the Siena athletic department

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UAlbany/Vermont postgame

This is a little late, but it's postgame video from UAlbany coach Will Brown, after his team's to Vermont on Saturday.

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Burdine steps up and throws it down

ALBANY - With about seven minutes to go in the game and after a steal by Rakeem Brookins, it was Trenity Burdine who got to show his dunking ability.

Burdine said he'd been waiting to get a dunk at home and he caught the no-look pass from his fellow frosh and slammed it down with one hand.

“I've been waiting for a dunk at home and I knew it was going to happen as soon as we stole the ball,” he said.

It was a nice play between Siena's two freshmen players and they celebrated by jumping together. The play also cut Niagara's lead to 46-45 and the crowd went nuts.

“It's between us," Burdine said about the connection with Brookins. "Freshman and freshman.”

Burdine played very well on Sunday, especially with Owen Wignot injured.

Burdine played 22 minutes and finished with five points, two rebounds, a block and a steal.

The block was on the game's final play, when Anthony Nelson drove in to try to tie the game.

“I blocked that,” Burdine said. “I just saw him and my eyes opened.”

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Wignot bruises chest

ALBANY - Siena junior Owen Wignot didn't play in the second half.

He didn't even make it back out to the bench because of a hard fall he suffered when driving to the basket in the first half.

Wignot was having trouble catching his breath after the fall and that's why the trainers advised him to sit out the remainder of the game.

Wignot had a red bruise on the upper left portion of his chest, but said he think he shouldn't miss any time and will be ready for Manhattan on Friday.

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Siena 61, Niagara 59 FINAL

ALBANY - Wow did Siena escape with this one.

Rakeem Brookins, who shot just 2-for-16 made a big 3-pointer with 1:36 remaining to give the Saints the lead for good.

Siena (6-5, 9-12) still had to hang on after a couple of missed free throws opened the door for Niagara (1-10, 4-19).

Anthony Nelson missed a driving layup with the clock running down and the Saints prevailed.

O.D. Anosike had a huge game for Siena, scoring 15 points and grabbing a game-high 16 rebounds.

Kashief Edwards and Marvin Jordan both scored 18 points for the Purple Eagles.

The Saints are now just one game behind a three-way tie for third place in the MAAC standings.

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Niagara 30, Siena 24 (half)

ALBANY - This Siena team isn't playing very well.

Like the last time they played Niagara, the Saints' offense was stagnant and slow out of the gates.

Everyone had a tough time offensively, as the Siena shot just 9-for-30 (30 percent).

Owen Wignot and Ryan Rossiter each have eight points for the Saints.

Kashief Edwards leads all scorers with 14 points off of the bench for the Purple Eagles.

Niagara has only one MAAC win this season (1-9) and that came over Siena, back on Jan. 9.

With Loyola's victory over Iona, a Siena victory would put them one game behind a three-way tie for third place in the conference.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vermont 63, UAlbany 54 FINAL

ALBANY - UAlbany had one poor stretch in the second half and it really cost them.

On a night when the Great Danes could have picked up big ground in the conference standings, UAlbany fell at home and lost for the fourth straight time against Vermont.

The Catamounts went on a 12-0 run midway through the second half to push the lead to 17 and coast to the finish line.

Brendan Bald led Vermont with a game-high 20 points, while Evan Fjeld addeed 19.

Tim Ambrose scored 16 for UAlbany, while Logan Aronhalt finished with 12.

The rebounding difference wasn't that big, 37-35 Vermont, but they had the boards that were big.

UAlbany heads on the road to face New Hampshire, on Wednesday.

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Vermont 28, UAlbany 24 (half)

ALBANY - The Great Danes started out playing not so hot.

After scoring the game's first point, they fell behind 9-1.

They clawed back into the game, thanks to their rebounding and picked up their overall play.

Evan Fjeld was having his way early, scoring 10 of the team's first 25 points.

Brendan Bald also played well, scoring 11 points in the first half for the Catamounts.

The Great Danes were more balanced, getting six points from Tim Ambrose and five apiece from co-captains Blake Metcalf and Logan Aronhalt.

Rebounding, which UAlbany coach Will Brown said was a huge key to the game, was pretty even. Vermont leads 20-19.

It should be a good second half.

An aside, this is the best crowd of the season, I think and definitely since the season-opener against Cornell.

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Siena/Loyola postgame

Video courtesy of Siena athletics

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Siena 76, Loyola 59 FINAL

The Saints played one of their best games of the season.

All five starters scored in double figures, including senior Ryan Rossiter, who finished with 18 points and nine rebounds.

Rossiter also became just the second player in program history to grab his 1,000th career rebound, doing so early in the second half.

Siena (5-5, 8-12) led by as many as 20 points in the second half, getting great performances by Owen Wignot and Kyle Downey in the absence of Clarence Jackson, who missed his eighth game of the year because of an ankle injury.

The game was pretty even, until coach Mitch Buonaguro called a timeout after a turnover that led to an easy Greyhounds (6-4, 10-10) hoop, and really gave it to his team.

The team responded by rattling off a big run and taking control of the game.

Justin Drummond led Loyola with 12 points.

Siena hosts Niagara on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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Danes show their fight against UMBC

ALBANY - Will Brown told his team before Wednesday's night matchup with UMBC that it was a separation game.

The Great Danes, who are right smack in the middle of the nine-team league, came out slow and trailed by 12 at halftime.

All season, the UAlbany players and Coach Brown have talked about how this is a different team than last season.

In the second half, they proved it.

The Great Danes rallied to post a 66-63 victory and even their conference mark at 4-4.

“Coach gave us a good speech and that got us pumped up for the second half,” said sophomore point guard Mike Black. “We just came out, played aggressive and a lot better than the first half.”

The comeback ties the program's largest come-from-behind road victory, as they trailed by 14, 46-32, with 16:46 remaining.

“It showed our character,” said Black.

UAlbany has won their last three games and already has twice as many league wins as all of last year, when they finished 2-14 in the America East.

“It just shows that we have a lot of fight in us and we’re going to play to the last buzzer,” said senior guard Tim Ambrose.

The Great Danes have won their last two conference road games, after dropping their first two of the year.

“I think it was a good feeling for our guys that they had to deal with some adversity on the road and they found a way to get it done,” said Brown.

UAlbany hosts rival Vermont, Saturday at SEFCU Arena, at 7 p.m.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

MAAC Chat - Jan. 27

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Back off Buonaguro

LOUDONVILLE - There has been a lot of criticism from fans and people in the area about the struggles that the Siena men's basketball team has had so far this season.

It seems like people are wondering if Mitch Buonaguro was the right man for the job, when Fran McCaffery left for Iowa, and questioning if Buonaguro can consistently win.

In my opinion, it's way too early to judge Buonaguro. The team has played just nine MAAC games (half of the league schedule) and sure they've struggled.

They've also been without their second leading scorer, Clarence Jackson, for seven games.

The Saints have also posted some good, solid victories over teams like Georgia Tech, Florida Atlantic and Iona.

While the Siena players don't really get into what people are saying about the program, junior Kyle Downey defended his coach before Thursday's practice.

“We’re not winning games,” Downey said. “That’s on us. That’s not really on him. He’s doing everything in his power. He’s watching 10 hours of film a day. He knows what he’s doing. It really comes down to us making shots. He’s not shooting the ball for us.”

The Saints (4-5, 7-12) say that they are still feeling confident in the team that they have, as they prepare for Friday night's matchup at Loyola (Md.).

“Everyone’s still upbeat and feeling pretty good about themselves,” said sophomore O.D. Anosike. “We have to go down on the road and get a good win against a good team and try to get back on the right track.”

One player who should be feeling confident is senior Ryan Rossiter, who is averaging 19.5 points and 13.1 rebounds per game.

On Tuesday, Buonaguro said that Rossiter, who was selected as the MAAC's preseason Player of the Year, has lived up to that expected vote.

"He's the best player in the league, hands down," Buonguro said. "...I can say that emphatically."

While Rossiter has great numbers, he's still focusing on team goals.

“You have to win if you want the personal accolades,” Rossiter said. “That’s how I’ve always felt. My first goal is going to be a MAAC championship and anything else just comes with the success this team has.”

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Aronhalt, Ambrose lead Danes to victory

From our stringer in Baltimore.

Catonsville, Md. – As they were walking off the court trailing by 12 points at halftime Wednesday night in what University at Albany coach Will Brown stopped just short of calling a must win game, Brown pulled aside senior guard Tim Ambrose, who had scored 16 of the Great Danes’ 27 first-half points.

“I told him to go in and blast them,” Brown said of Ambrose, the team’s lone senior and the only Great Dane who didn’t look sluggish during the first half against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

While Brown waited outside the locker room for several minutes, Ambrose did just that and his teammates responded by rallying for 66-63 win over the Retrievers at the RAC Arena.

“I told them that we had to go out there and have fun, that we don’t have any fans here and we have to bring more energy,” Ambrose said in providing a newspaper friendly account of his message. “I told them it’s on us. The coaches can tell us what they want us to do, but it’s on us to come out and execute. The second half everybody came out with energy and we pulled it out.”

Sophomore guard Logan Aronhalt led the Great Danes with 28 points, tying a career high with six three pointers, and Ambrose finished with 25. Sophomore guard Mike Black scored all eight of his points in the second half, including to go-ahead basket with 21 seconds remaining.

“Logan’s a rhythm guy and when he gets a lot of shots he gets a confidence,” Brown said of Aronhalt, who scored 20 points in the second half. “Earlier in the year we were relying on our Big Three as we call them, Ambrose, Aronhalt and Black. The past couple of weeks we’ve been getting great balance from everybody else. Well today, everybody else struggled and Timmy carried us in the first half and Logan and Mike kind of carried us in the second half.”

In winning their third straight game for the first time since January of 2009, the Great Danes improved to 4-4 in the America East Conference and 11-12 overall.

“I told the team this was a separation game for us,” Brown said. “We want to get into the top four in the conference and separate ourselves from the other teams. I didn’t say it was a must win game, but I told them it was very important.”

Trailing 49-36 with five minutes gone in the second half, the Danes went on 14-2 run to cut the deficit to one. Ambrose started the run with four straight points on a pair of free throws and a driving layup.

After a UMBC basket, Aronhalt scored eight straight points, sandwiching two three-pointers around layup off an offensive rebound.

“Logan is Logan. He can knock down shots from anywhere on the floor and once he gets going he’s tough to guard,” Ambrose said.

Sophomore Blake Metcalf’s layup got UAlbany to within one, 51-50 with 10 minutes left. Minutes later Ambrose tied the score at 55 with a three-pointer, but UMBC soon went back up by four points with six minutes left and appeared to have weathered the rally.

Then, after three minutes of neither team being able to hold on to the ball consistently much less score, Aronhalt hit a three pointer to pull the Great Danes to within one at 61-60 with 3:09 to play.

The teams then traded baskets and then with about 30 seconds left, UMBC’s junior guard, Chris De La Rosa, missed a jumper, the Danes came away with the loose ball rebound and Black converted a fast break layup to put UAlbany ahead, 64-63.

The Retrievers were able to get De La Rosa an open look with less than 10 seconds to play, but his long jumper went off the rim. Freshman John Puk grabbed the rebound and after Aronhalt hit two free throws with 1.3 seconds left, the Retrievers were unable to get off another shot.

De La Rosa, a former Siena Saint, led the Retrievers with 15 points. UMBC falls to 2-6 in the conference and 3-18 overall.

UAlbany led 14-12 midway through the first half, but UMBC went on a 12-0 run and led by as many as 15 points.

“We just came out flat, maybe we were tired I don’t know, but we didn’t play our best in the first half,” Aronhalt said.

The Retrievers entered the game last in the conference in scoring defense, surrendering an average of 80 points per game, but the Great Danes shot just 26 percent (10-of-39) over the first 20 minutes.

Ambrose, who now sits in seventh place all-time on the UAlbany scoring list with 1,425 points, kept the Danes close, hitting six of his 13 attempts and adding three free throws.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Introducing UAlbany fans to Chris De La Rosa

The University at Albany players know who they need to stop to be successful on Wednesday against UMBC.

Some in the Capital District may even remembers the name Chris De La Rosa.

De La Rosa played his freshman season at Siena College, and played in the 2008 NCAA Tournament against Vanderbilt and Villanova.

This season, De La Rosa is really playing well for the Retrievers, who are just 3-17 overall, but have won two of their last three games.

The 5-10 junior guard is averaging 17.0 points, 6.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game.

He leads the team in scoring and assists and is second behind forward Justin Fry in rebounds.

De La Rosa is second in the America East Conference in scoring, behind just Boston University star John Holland (19.2 ppg).

De La Rosa was just honored by the America East the player of the week, after averaging 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists in three games last week.

I had a chance to ask Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro about De La Rosa Tuesday afternoon.

"He's a talented player," Buonaguro said.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

VIDEO: Siena/Rider postgame

ALBANY - Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro talks about Monday night's 68-60 loss to Rider.

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Rider 68, Siena 60 FINAL

ALBANY - Siena played better in the second half, but it wasn't good enough.

Ryan Rossiter finished with 26 points, but the team had trouble finding more scoring and dropped their second straight conference game.

Justin Robinson led four Rider players in double figures with 19 points.

Novar Gadson added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Broncs (6-3, 14-7).

Rakeem Brookins chipped in 10 for the Saints (4-5, 7-12).

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Rider 30, Siena 18 (half)

ALBANY - The Saints played pretty horrible in the first half.

They shot just 22.9 percent (8-35) from the field.

Ryan Rossiter leads the way for the Saints with 10 points.

Novar Gadson and Justin Robinson each have eight points for the Broncs.

Clarence Jackson is not playing for Siena, as he misses another game with an ankle sprain.

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King retires as RPI football coach

TROY - RPI coach Joe King stepped down from his position on Monday afternoon.

King, who recently finished his 22nd season coaching the Engineers, is the all-time winningest coach in school history.

RPI has a link, where you can share your thoughts about Coach King. You can get to that spot by clicking here.

Make sure to check The Record paper edition for more thoughts on King's career at Rensselaer.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jackson likely out Monday vs. Rider

LOUDONVILLE - Siena fans have seen this before.

Clarence Jackson strolled into the ARC on Saturday, during the women's basketball game, with crutches.

The senior guard hurt his left ankle in Friday night's loss at Saint Peter's.

The team bus didn't arrive home until 2:30 a.m., and Jackson got treatment on the ankle early Saturday morning.

"It's not as swollen as I thought it would be," he said from his seat on the bleachers. "It's still really painful to put pressure on it."

Jackson said "it's not looking good" for Monday's game against Rider.

“It’s always scary when I roll my ankles because I’ve had so much history with it,” Jackson said.

The left ankle is the one that kept him out of last season's NCAA Tournament game against Purdue and the foot that he broke a bone in during the offseason.

The right ankle is the one that kept him out for six games, after he sustained a high ankle sprain.

“Now, it’s both of them,” he said.

Jackson was running back on defense, when he injured the ankle against the Peacocks.

“I felt myself not being able to catch my balance,” he said. “Once I tried to really gather myself, it was too late.”

The injury doesn't appear to be very significant, but it does set Jackson back. He had only played two games since returning from the earlier injury.

“When I’m out there playing and I’m going hard, sometimes I can’t control it,” he said.

Jackson said the ankles have a tendency to roll out, something that now even happens when he's running in a straight line, not cutting.

The Saints were 2-4 without Jackson, during his first hiatus for an ankle injury this season, beating both Georgia Tech and Iona.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

UAlbany 76, Binghamton 37 FINAL

ALBANY - This is unquestionably the best that UAlbany has played this season.

There was no second half letdown and the Great Danes pick up their third America East victory of the season by dismantling Binghamton on Thursday night.

The 39-point victory is the largest in program history, breaking the 32-point victory over Columbia in 2007.

It's also the lowest point total in a half (13) and total (42) that UAlbany has allowed to an America East opponent, while a member of the conference.

The 37 points scored by the Bearcats is the lowest point total in their 10-year history.

The Great Danes led by 26 points at halftime and didn't let up, actually extending the lead in the second half.

Mike Black finished with a game-high 15 points for UAlbany, while Tim Ambrose added 14.

The starters spent the final five minutes on the bench.

Mahamoud Jabbi led the Bearcats with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

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UAlbany 39, Binghamton 13 (half)

ALBANY - When was the last time UAlbany had a 30-point lead...in the first half.

The Great Danes played another good first half and Binghamton shot horribly from the field.

The Bearcats shot 4-for-30 (13 precent) from the field and actually made more free throws (5) than shots.

Senior guard Tim Ambrose actually outscored Binghamton 14-13. Mike Black added 11 for the Great Danes, while Luke Devlin finished the half with nine.

The Great Danes shots 12-for-25 (48 percent).

UAlbany's biggest lead was 30, when they led 37-7 with 3:09.

Binghamton actually scored the first basket, when senior Mahamoud Jabbi made a jumper to give the Bearcats a 2-0 lead, 17 seconds into the game.

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MAAC Chat - Jan. 20

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Ubiles finishing degree, rehabbing leg

LOUDONVILLE - There was a familiar face at Siena practice on Thursday afternoon.

Former star Edwin Ubiles was suited up and mixed in with the current players looking at something assistant coach Craig Carter was drawing on a dry-erase board.

With the Spring semester starting (I know it's too cold for it to be called spring), Ubiles is back in school trying to finish up his degree.

He's just a few classes shy of picking up his bachelors in Creative Arts.

"I thought it'd be good, while I'm out to get that done, have that paper," he said.

Ubiles' pro career has been put on hold as he rehabs a stress fracture in his right tibia.

"I took a little bit longer than I expected to get back," he said. "The best thing for me, right now, is to be patient and keep working."

Ubiles, who was part of three MAAC title winning teams at Siena, said he's not sure exactly when the injury occurred.

"It didn't bother me until towards the end of my career, here at Siena," he said. "Fortunately I caught it when I did."

Ubiles, who said he's in "decent shape," said he is trying to rehab to possibly make a run at playing in the NBDL, or overseas.

"I want to make sure I go in there ready to go, so I can perform at my best," he said.

Ubiles also has twin girls, Laila and Thalia, who are growing up fast and will turn two in April.

"The kids are getting big now and running all over the place," he said.

Bring around the program and seeing some familiar faces are two things that Eddie has missed.

"It's fun," Ubiles said. "I definitely miss it. It's an experience to remember."

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Siena's Jackson is a super sub for now

LOUDONVILLE - Coming off the bench last Friday night against Marist reminded Clarence Jackson of his sophomore year.

During that season, Jackson averaged 8.3 points per game in about 14 minutes of action.

On Friday night, against the Red Foxes, Jackson finished with a game-high 19 points in 26 minutes.

He followed that up with 15 points in 33 minutes, again coming in off of the bench.

That looks like it will be his role for the time being, according to coach Mitch Buonaguro.

"I really like Clarence coming off the bench," he said. "He's going to play the same amount of minutes."

Originally, when Jackson was trying to get back into the lineup, Buonaguro said he would start him, but he's opted to stick with junior Kyle Downey, saying he's earned the time on the floor.

Buonaguro said he likes the spark that Clarence gives to the offense as a sixth man.

"A good sixth man is a guy that can come in change the whole complexional of the game," Buonaguro said. "He does that with his offense."

Jackson is averaging 16.9 points per game, second behind only fellow senior Ryan Rossiter. The two combine to be the big threats for the Saints.

"When he's out there, with Ryan, that's two big threats," Buonaguro said.

Coach B said that he thinks his best team now is Rossiter, Jackson, Downey, sophomore O.D. Anosike and freshman Rakeem Brookins.

That's probably in part because junior Owen Wignot is still having trouble with the thumb he injured in the Western New York trip.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Siena 73, Canisius 69 FINAL

ALBANY - This time Gaby Belardo's shot didn't go in and Siena prevailed.

The Saints held off a stingy Canisius group at home to improve to 4-3 in the MAAC.

Ryan Rossiter scored a team-high 28 points to lead Siena (4-3, 7-10).

Belardo scored a game-high 29 points for the Griffins (2-5, 8-9), but missed two 3-pointers in the final minute.

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Siena 41, Canisius 34 (half)

ALBANY - Siena's offense looks really good. The Saints defense, not as much.

Siena got up by as many as 13 points (actually they led by 15 with 8:37 to go), but Canisius finished the half on a 6-0 run to give us our halftime score.

Ryan Rossiter leads all players with 14 points for the Saints, while O.D. Anosike added 10 in that first half.

Gaby Belardo has 11 points to lead the Griffins.

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VIDEO: UAlbany vs. Boston U. postgame

ALBANY - This is a little late, but it's UAlbany coach Will Brown's opening statements after the 70-67 loss to Boston University.

The Great Danes (1-4, 8-12) are in action tonight against Stony Brook in what Brown stressed was a very important game for his team to win.

The game is on MSG+ at 5 p.m.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Boston U. 70, UAlbany 67 FINAL

ALBANY - UAlbany turned it on of their best halves and then unfortunately one of their worst ones, blowing a huge lead and falling 70-67 to Boston University at home on Saturday.

The Great Danes (1-4, 8-12) led by 16 points at halftime, but the Terriers (3-1, 8-10) scored 48 points to narrowly take home the win.

John Holland finished with a game-high 27 points and Darryl Partin added 16 for Boston University, which won their first game on the road this season.

Tim Ambrose led three UAlbany players in double figures with 18 points.

The Great Danes hit the road on Monday to take on Stony Brook at 5 p.m., in a game that can be seen on MSG+.

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UAlbany 38, Boston U. 22 (half)

ALBANY -The University at Albany Great Danes may have just played their best half of the America East portion of their schedule.

The Great Danes started 7-for-10 from the field and have led from the tip, apart from two ties.

Three players, Luke Devlin, Logan Aronhalt and Tim Ambrose each have eight points for UAlbany.

The Terriers stayed in the game with the 3-pointer, as they knocked down six in the half.

John Holland leads Boston University with 12 points.

UAlbany shot 51 percent (15-29) and has 11 assists and zero turnovers in the first half.

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Danes look to snap three-game slide

ALBANY — The University at Albany had a three-man show going for much of the early part of the 2010-11 season.

They're hoping they have added a few more acts to their ensemble.

Will Brown tweaked his offense before the game against Maine on Wednesday and although the Great Danes lost, he saw some positives from his frontcourt players.

UAlbany (1-3, 8-11) will need all of their offensive weapons in full gear tonight when they take on preseason favorite Boston University (2-1, 7-10) in an America East showdown at SEFCU Arena.

“I think they're just talented overall,” said Brown of the Terriers. “Probably the most talented team in the league individually.”

The Great Danes rode their three-headed monster of Logan Aronhalt, Tim Ambrose and Mike Black for much of their offensive firepower.

While those three perimeter players will continue to provide the most offense for UAlbany, sophomore Blake Metcalf and freshmen John Puk and Luke Devlin need to continue contributing.

Those three players combined for 20 points and 18 rebounds against the Black Bears.
“For us to get 20 and 18 from our frontcout guys, that's pretty darn good,” Brown said. “They're not going to get us that every night, but they need to be productive and I think part of them being productive is us getting them the ball and keeping them involved.”

Brown's adjustment was to use more screens to get his frontcourt players more active.

“By throwing it inside, you hope that we can get some easy opportunities, get to the free throw line, get some teams in foul trouble,” Brown said. “And also keep our bigs interested in the game and let them know that they're an integral part of what we're trying to do.”

The team has been learning new plays and working on getting ball inside.

“To achieve a little more balance scoring, I think will help us a lot in the long run,” said Aronhalt.
Boston University has won the last two games and are capable of beating a lot of teams.

“They're definitely a tough matchup,” Devlin said. “But I'm confident, as I am with every team we play that we can beat them.”

The Terriers top threat is senior John Holland, who averages a conference-best 18.3 points per game.

“We just have to make sure to have a hand on him at all times, someone always there, always in front of him,” Aronhalt said. “He's going to be tough to stop. It's going to be a challenge for us.”

The Terriers will likely be without some of that talent as junior forward Jake O'Brien is doubtful with a sprained ankle that he suffered against UMass on New Year's Eve. O'Brien, who averages 11.6 points per game, has missed the past three games.

With O'Brien out, Boston University is more physical with 6-foot-8 junior Jeff Pelage.

UAlbany's frontcourt players will have to be more physical, while also trying to help out with the offensive.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Siena 66, Marist 59 FINAL

POUGHKEEPSIE - Clarence Jackson finally played for Siena and it was just what the team needed.

The senior co-captain scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Saints to a 66-59 victory over rival Marist at the McCann Center on Friday night.

Jackson had missed six straight games, but finished with five 3-pointers in 26 minutes off of the bench.

He also became the 37th player in program history to score 1,000 career points.

The Red Foxes (3-3, 4-14) made it really tight in the second half, closing to one, 55-54 with less than three minutes to play.

Jackson answered with a 3-pointer and Siena pulled away.

Ryan Rossiter added a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebound and O.D. Anosike finished with 13 points and nine rebounds for the Saints (3-3, 6-10).

Sam Prescott led four Marist players with 15 points, while Adam Kemp finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds going up against Rossiter.

Siena hosts Canisius on Monday in Albany.

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Siena 32, Marist 28 (half)

POUGHKEEPSIE - Siena is once again finding out that any conference game on the road this season will be a challenge.

Ryan Rossiter and O.D. Anosike hurt Marist down low early in the half.

Clarence Jackson didn't start for Siena, but did play 11 minutes and took three shots, making two.

Jackson made his first shot, a 3-pointer, with 6:08 remaining in the first half to give Siena a 25-19 lead.

The Red Foxes went on a run to cut the lead to one, 27-26.

Marist probably should have taken the lead, but they missed the front end of two 1+1 opportunities and missed a free throw trying to covert a 3-point play.

Jackson hit another 3-pointer later in the half and is just two points shy of 1,000 for his career.

Rossiter has 10 for the Saints, who are trying to snap a five-game road losing streak.

Dorvell Carter had nine points for the Red Foxes.

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Jackson suits up for Saints

POUGHKEEPSIE - Siena guard Clarence Jackson isn't in the starting lineup for the Siena Saints tonight against rival Marist.

But, fortunately for Saints fans, it looks like he will play after missing six straight games due to an ankle injury.

Siena's senior co-captain is averaging 16.9 points per game this season, but he hasn't played since Dec. 13, in a victory over Florida Atlantic.

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Honest Abe has Great Danes roaring

ALBANY - Coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson has continued to promise to her team that their hard work will pay off.

"They're working harder than they've ever worked before," the first year UAlbany coach said on Thursday.

The Great Danes (3-0, 10-6) are 3-0 in the America East Conference for the first time in program history and their 10 wins are the most in the entire league.

"This is a big thing for everybody," said junior guard Cassandra Callaway.

UAlbany got off to a 7-3 start, but then lost three games in a row, right before conference play began.

"We knew that we had to get it together somehow and it had to work," Callaway said. "We just had to bounce back and work harder in practice."

Their coach said it was just a matter of making adjustments and their pressure defense has changed things up.

"When we press and get steals and get our energy going defensively, it ignites our offense," said Abrahamson-Henderson.

The Great Danes have defeated New Hampshire, Hartford and Maine in league play.

Their most recent win was extra special for their coach, as she was an assistant at Maine from 1992-94.

Abrahamson-Henderson recruited current Maine coach Cindy Blodgett to play for the Black Bears.

UAlbany broke a tie score at halftime by outscoring Maine by 15 to take home the 65-50 victory.

The team says their mentality has been taking it one game at a time.

"For them, it's not about the future," Abrahamson-Henderson said. "It's about the now."

The Great Danes next game is a first place showdown against Boston University (3-0, 6-9) on Saturday at 3 p.m. at SEFCU Arena.

"It's huge," said Callaway about the matchup.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

MAAC Chat - Jan. 13

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VIDEO: Clarence Jackson update

Siena senior guard talks about his ankle injury and if he could play on Friday against Marist.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

VIDEO: UAlbany vs. Maine postgame

ALBANY - UAlbany coach Will Brown talks about his team's 66-64 loss against Maine on Wednesday night.

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UAlbany's Black being more aggressive

ALBANY - Coach Will Brown stopped Mike Black before the game and told his sophomore point guard that he needed to take more shots.

Black shot 8-for-14 and scored a team-high 18 points for the Great Danes (1-3, 8-11) in a 66-64 loss to Maine.

"The past couple of games, I really haven't taken a lot of shots," Black said. "Today, he pulled me aside and told me to be aggressive and do whatever it takes to get the 'W'."

Brown said he wants his three perimeter players (Black, Logan Aronhalt and Tim Ambrose) to each take at least 10 shots per game.

If you were surprised that freshman Ralph Watts took one of the final shots, I was too (a little, at least).

"Right now, he's trying to figure out, because we've had him playing a lot of point guard, when do I attack, when don't I attack," Brown said. "The one thing he's been doing well, in practice, is getting into the lane, so I thought for sure he could get into the lane and he's a good passer. I think he was shocked. He was five feet from the basket, he has a nice little floater."

Brown said he turned to his staff after Watts missed and said 'Bad Call'. His assistants told him it was a five-footer and they have to take that every time.

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Maine 66, UAlbany 64 FINAL

ALBANY - The University at Albany Great Danes played much better on Wednesday evening than they had in their past two conference games.

It still wasn't enough.

Senior Tim Ambrose missed a running 3-pointer from 30 feet out, at the buzzer, as Maine hung on to defeat UAlbany 66-64 in an America East Conference game at SEFCU Arena.

Ambrose missed two shots in the final minute and the Black Bears got the winning free throws from Raheem Singleton, with 3.6 seconds remaining.

Gerald McLemore scored a game-high 19 points for Maine (3-1, 9-7) and Troy Barnies added 18.

Mike Black scored a team-high 18 points for UAlbany (1-3, 8-11) , while Ambrose finished with 12 and Luke Devlin chipped in 10.

UAlbany plays host to Boston U. on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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UAlbany 32, Maine 30 (half)

ALBANY - The Great Danes started the half quickly and maintained the lead throughout the first half.

UAlbany was being outrebounded early big time, but have actually gained the edge, 16-13 at intermission.

A balanced score sheet for the Great Danes is led by Mike Black, who has seven points. Eight players have scored for UAlbany - everyone that has played.

Troy Barnies has 10 points for the Black Bears.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

VIDEO: UAlbany vs. Maine preview

Senior guard Tim Ambrose talks about the Great Danes' game against Maine on Wednesday.

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Siena women's team on a roll

LOUDONVILLE - The hottest college basketball team in the area is the Siena women's basketball team.

The Saints won the fifth straight game on Monday night, defeated Fairfield 54-46.

Siena is 4-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, tied with Marist for first place.

"I think they're learning what it takes to be a No. 1 team," said Siena coach Gina Castelli at Tuesday's meeting with the media. "I'm not sure we're there yet, in terms of the mentality."

When asked what the biggest difference has been since the team started 1-8, Castelli responded teamwork.

"That's the hard thing to get," she said. "There's just a definite difference in how our players are seeing the game."

The team has been led all season by senior Serena Moore (left).

"I can't say enough about her effort," Castelli said.

The play of juniors Cristina Centeno and Maja Gerlyng have really helped boost the team.

"For Cristina to be the high scorer yesterday, that says a lot about her game and how it's evolved, especially this year," Castelli said. "Maja, obviously, has really turned it on and Serena has been the one that everyone has been concentrating on."

The Saints' next two games are at Niagara (Friday) and at Canisius (Sunday).

Marist has won the past four MAAC titles, but right now it looks like Siena has a chance to make a run for the title.

"It's tough because Marist is so good right now," Castelli said. "And then it's everybody else in the league."

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hartford 62, UAlbany 42 FINAL

UAlbany knew that Hartford would spread them out and shoot a lot of 3-pointers.

That's what the Hawks did - and they shot 12-for-36 from long distance to dial up an America East victory.

Milton Burton hit five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points.

Logan Aronhalt scored 17 points, while Mike Black added 10 for the Great Danes. Tim Ambrose scored a season-low four points.

UAlbany (1-2, 8-10) looks to snap a two-game losing streak at home against Maine on Wednesday.

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Niagara tops Siena 69-55

This is not a good result for the Siena men's basketball team.

The Purple Eagles (1-4, 4-13) won their first MAAC game of the season, taking down the Saints (2-3, 5-10) which lost two games in three days in Western New York.

Siena now has 10 losses on the season and at 2-3 in the conference is tied with Loyola for sixth place.

OD Anosike had his second straight double-double 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Ryan Rossiter added 20.

Anthony Nelson scored a game-high 30 points for the Niagara.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Canisius 62, Siena 61 FINAL

Gaby Belardo hit the game-winning jumper with 11 seconds left as Canisius overcame an early 10-point deficit to edge Siena 62-61 Friday night.

Tomas Vazquez-Simmons blocked Ryan Rossiter’s shot with 2 seconds to go to preserve the win.

Alshwan Hymes scored 19 points on six 3-pointers and Julius Coles had 18 for the Golden Griffins (1-3, 7-7).

Coles hit a jumper, then Rossiter, who led Siena (2-2, 5-9) with 19 points and 14 rebounds, made two free throws.

A Rossiter jumper gave Siena a 61-60 lead with 19 seconds left.

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Despite loss, UAlbany still feeling good

ALBANY - One day after UAlbany's first conference loss to Vermont, the Great Danes were trying to focus on what's in front of them.

It was likely the biggest game of the season for UAlbany because of the early-season America East Conference implications and that may have gotten to the team, according to coach Will Brown.

“Maybe Coach Brown telling (the players) that this is a good measuring stick for us. This is the best team on paper, based on non-conference. Big game, great environment and I think this group may have gotten caught up in that and pressed a little bit too much.”

The Catamounts won for the seventh time on their home floor and are now 11-3 overall, after beating the Great Danes 60-48.

“They’re a great team,” said senior guard Tim Ambrose. “They’re solid and they play together. They don’t beat themselves.”

UAlbany didn't play very well, but they still like their chances against Vermont any anyone else in the league.

“I feel like we can compete with anybody,” Ambrose said. “It all depends on that night and how teams come out to play. Vermont, yesterday, was the better team and they deserved to win.”

“Vermont’s a great team,” added sophomore captain Logan Aronhalt. “They’re very well-coached and they play well together, but I like our chances in the next game. As bad as we were playing, we were right there at times. I think, if we can get it going a little better offensively next time we play, I think we can win the game.”

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vermont 60, UAlbany 48 FINAL

The Great Danes (1-1, 8-9) had a one-point halftime lead, but didn't shoot the ball well and lost an America East Conference game, on the road, against the Catamounts (2-0, 11-3).

"We didn't get any offense going," said UAlbany coach Will Brown. "From our end, we lost game game offensively."

The Great Danes were led by Logan Aronhalt, who finished with a game-high 21 points. Mike Black added 13 points and Tim Ambrose finished with 10 points, but shot just 4-for-17 from the field.

"We played good enough defensively to win the game, but the offense was atrocious," said Brown.

Brendan Bald and Matt Glass both scored 13 points and Evan Fjeld finished with 11 in the victory for Vermont.

"The good thing is this game will provide us with good film to watch before our next game," Brown said.

UAlbany travels to Hartford on Sunday at 3 p.m.

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MAAC Chat - Jan. 6

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Same day travel for Great Danes

ALBANY - The University at Albany men's basketball team will do something on Thursday that they haven't done all season.

Because of an America East Conference policy that was started last season, the Great Danes will travel to Vermont today, the day of the game, rather than the day before, like they have for the non-conference portion of their schedule.

"We haven't done that this year so far, but we can't use that as an excuse," said sophomore captain Logan Aronhalt. "At least, we can sleep in our beds (Wednesday), so maybe it'll be a good thing. Who knows? We'll see."

The America East instituted the policy last year as a cost-cutting measure. Any schools that are within 150 miles of one another, must travel the day off.

This policy affects UAlbany more than any other school, as they have four (Binghamton, Vermont, Boston U. Hartford) day of trips (although just three this season because the Boston U. game is at Madison Square Garden).

It's also why Sunday's game against Hartford is at 3 p.m., because the Great Danes will leave early that morning.

The Great Danes will still check into a hotel this afternoon and eat and go over a team scout at the hotel before heading to Patrick Gymnasium for the game.

"I just think it's something we have to deal with," said freshman John Puk.

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Meet Vermont's Even Fjeld

ALBANY - Take one look at Vermont senior Evan Fjeld and it's easy to think 'How can this guy be a baller?'

UAlbany coach Will Brown said on Wednesday that Fjeld is playing up to a player of the year caliber so far this season.

“He's very efficient,” Brown said.


Fjeld is averaging 17.5 points per game, just a hair behind UAlbany's Tim Ambrose (17.6 ppg) and Boston U.'s John Holland (17.9) for third in the league.

Fjeld and the Catamounts (10-3) beat Siena in the season-opener this season. Fjeld finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.

In the three games Vermont has lost, Fjeld has averaged just 13 points per game and that's skewed because he scored 26 against Connecticut. Fjeld finished with just 10 against Fairfield and five against BYU.

The one thing that surely sticks out is Fjeld's mustache.

The stache started as a way to promote awareness and raise money to fight prostate cancer.

Unfortunaely cancer touches nearly everyone, including Fjeld, who lost his mother Susan to the disease in March, a few days before the America East Conference championship.

Fjeld was going to shave it, but has decided it fits the team's personality.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

VIDEO: Rossiter leads a youthful bunch

Siena senior Ryan Rossiter said something interesting after last night's 73-67 victory over MAAC rival Iona.

Rossiter said that since the team is so youthful and inexperienced that sometimes they don't look at the scoreboard, which is good and bad.

When the Saints fell behind by double-digits, early to the Gaels, it was actually a good thing because they just focused on chipping away and eventually took the lead and in the end, won the game.

Below Rossiter talks about last night's win and if you look closely you can still see that his left eye is red from the elbow he took against Georgia Tech on Dec. 23. (The video is short)

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Siena's Jackson has high-ankle sprain

ALBANY - Siena posted another impressive victory on Monday night without senior guard and co-captain Clarence Jackson.

The Saints are 2-2 and are averaging 64 points per game in their second leading scorer's absence.

Jackson had a MRI on Monday and said from the locker room, following a 73-67 victory over Iona that it's a high-ankle sprain.

"I'm glad it's not a tear," Jackson said.

Jackson wasn't sure how long he would be out, but with the whole week off before the Western New York trip, he is "hoping" to be able to play this Friday night against Canisius.

"I have all week to get treatment," he said.

It's more likely that he could try to return on Jan. 14 against Marist.

"For the Buffalo trip, I don't know if he's going to be able to play," said Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro.

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Siena's Griffin out 2-3 weeks

ALBANY - Siena junior guard Kyle Griffin (left) did a lot of cheering from the sidelines during Monday night's 73-67 victory over Iona.

Griffin was unable to cheer with his right arm though because it was in a sling.

Griffin said he will be wearing the sling for a few more days because of a slight tear in the cartilage of the labrum of his shoulder.

He said he expects to be out at least 2-3 weeks.

"There's nothing you can do," he said.

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Siena 73, Iona 67 FINAL

ALBANY - Siena played its best game of the season on Monday night.

They were left for dead in the first half, trailing by double-digits and still came back to post an impressive 71-67 victory over Iona in front of 5,580 in downtown Albany.

Ryan Rossiter converted a three-point play with 49 seconds remaining to give the Saints (2-1, 5-8) the lead for good.

The victory is the 1,000th by the Siena program in its 70th year.

Scott Machado led the Gaels (2-1, 8-6) with a team-high 21 points.

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Iona 34, Siena 31 (half)

ALBANY - Things looked awfully bad for Siena about midway through the first half.

The Saints were shooting 4-for-21 (19 percent) and were trailing by 12, a little more than midway through the half.

Mike Glover is the real deal. In the first 20 minutes, he scored 12 points to lead the way for the Gaels.

Siena went on a big run to close the half, outscoring Iona 12-2 over the final five minutes of the half.

Ryan Rossiter and Owen Wignot each have eight points for the Saints.

O.D. Anosike played limited minutes and has three fouls heading into the second half.

The Saints are playing without senior Clarence Jackson (ankle).

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Siena's Jackson out fourth straight game

ALBANY - Siena senior guard Clarence Jackson is out for the fourth straight game because of an ankle injury.

Jackson had an MRI on Monday and Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro will talk about the results following the team's game against Iona.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Great Danes win over another coach

ALBANY - It's happened a couple of times this season.

Teams have come into SEFCU Arena (where UAlbany is 3-3 on the season) and the opposing coach has said he really likes the Great Danes' team.

It happened again on Sunday, with New Hampshire coach Bill Herrion.

"I like their team," Herrion said after UAlbany posted a 59-44 victory in both school's America East Conference opener. "They're playing hard. They know who they are."

Herrion said he likes that the Danes have a senior who can score, Tim Ambrose (right) and sophomore Mike Black, who he said he thinks will have a good career.

The Great Danes have one more win than they did all of last year.

"I think Will (Brown) deserves a lot of credit," Herrion said.

Herrion said that UAlbany's trio of Ambrose, Black and Logan Aronhalt are as good as any guards in the league.

Aronhalt finished with just six points and has averaged 10.3 points over the last three games, since he injured his back against Colgate.

"He's thinking too much right now and that's fine," Brown said.

Brown said he just wants Aronhalt to shoot and then concentrate on defense and rebounding.

On the technical foul that Brown received, 1:32 into the game from referee Tim Kelly.

Brown said that Kelly told him he swore.

"He claims I did," Brown said. "I claim I didn't."

Brown couldn't remember the last time he received a technical, neither could media guru Brian DePasquale.

"It happens in this game," Brown said. "I think referees are competitive, coaches are competitive and players are competitive."


America East standings
Maine 1-0, 7-6
UAlbany 1-0, 8-8
Stony Brook 1-0, 6-6
Vermont 0-0, 9-3
Binghamton 0-0, 3-10
Hartford 0-0, 2-10
New Hampshire 0-1, 6-7
Boston U. 0-1, 5-10
UMBC 0-1, 1-13

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UAlbany 59, New Hampshire 54 FINAL

ALBANY - It really is a new year.

The University at Albany men's basketball team played a good, solid game on Sunday.

The Great Danes took down New Hampshire in their first America East Conference game of the season 59-44 at SEFCU Arena.

Tim Ambrose led UAlbany (1-0, 8-8) with 16 points, while Mike Black added 11.

Tyrone Conley scored a team-high 15 points for the Wildcats (0-1, 6-7), but New Hampshire shot just 4-for-16 from the free throw line.

UAlbany had won only three of its last 24 conference games coming into this game.

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UAlbany 28, New Hampshire 24 HALF

ALBANY - Will Brown got a technical in the second minute and Logan Aronhalt went scoreless through the first half and somehow the Great Danes lead at halftime.

The Wildcats started the season 1-for-10 from the field, but then hit four 3-pointers to jump back into the game.

Mike Black scored nine points to lead UAlbany, while Tim Ambrose had seven.

Ferg Myrick scored 10 points off the bench for New Hampshire.

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America East Power Rankings - Jan. 2

Most of the preseason games are over in the America East Conference.

League play kicks off today with three games - UAlbany/New Hampshire, Boston U./Maine, Stony Brook/UMBC.

Here are the preseason ranking from back in October.

1. Boston U.
2. Stony Brook
3. Maine
4. New Hampshire
5. Vermont
6. Hartford
7. Binghamton
8. UAlbany
9. UMBC

Almost three months later, here is how I stack the teams up before conference play begins.

1. Vermont - wins over Siena, Iona and only team over .500 put Cats at top
2. Boston U. - Terriers have played a murderous schedule, including Kentucky, Villanova
3. Maine - Black Bears have own four of last five, including W's over UMass and Penn State
4. New Hampshire - Wildcats have lost five of seven after 4-1 start
5. UAlbany - Danes have surprised a lot of people and positioned for a run at the title
6. Stony Brook - Seawolves are really missing Tommy Brenton's presence
7. Binghamton - wins over Cornell, Manhattan are only wins since Thanksgiving
8. Hartford - Hawks have had some tough games, but have been very disappointing
9. UMBC - good news, riding one-game winning streak, bad news, were 0-12 before that win

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