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Dane Pound

MEN'S BASKETBALL DEFEATS CROSSTOWN-RIVAl SIENA FOR

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MEN'S BASKETBALL DEFEATS CROSSTOWN-RIVAl SIENA FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1977

 

Albany, N.Y. – Sophomores Jamar Wilson and Jon Iati each scored 20 points to lead UAlbany to an 86-65 victory over crosstown-rival Siena on Tuesday, Nov. 23 before 8,904 fans at Pepsi Arena. The Great Danes are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 1996-97.

 

Siena (0-4) trailed by as much as six points early in the final period, but then drew even at 55 apiece when Antoine Jordan nailed a three-point field goal. UAlbany’s Lucious Jordan, who scored 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, responded with a three-pointer from the left side to put his team back on top for good with 9:41 remaining.

 

The Great Danes, who shot 65.4 percent from the field after halftime, still led 64-61 three minutes later, but then reeled off seven unanswered points. Wilson made a pair of free throws in that stretch, before Jordan converted a layup and Iati drilled a long-range jumper from the left wing.

 

Still leading 71-65 with 3:13 to play, UAlbany tallied the final 15 points of the contest. Wilson, who made 14-of-14 from the line and added a career-high 10 assists, had six points in that span. The Great Danes shot better than 54 percent from the floor for the second straight game.

 

"We didn’t play well in the first half," said UAlbany coach Will Brown, who saw the Great Danes win in this series for the first time since Feb. 3, 1977. "We made a nice run in the second half and cleaned up our turnovers and rebounding. This is a great win for the program. I know people will jump on the bandwagon, but we will welcome them with open arms."

 

Michael Haddix, a 6-foot-6 junior, had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Saints, who won the last three matchups between the schools since the series was revived after a 24-year absence. UAlbany’s Levi Levine added 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Kirsten Zoellner, a 7-foot-1 center, contributed 13 points and eight boards.

 

"We have confidence in ourselves," UAlbany’s Jordan said. "We didn’t buckle under pressure and we hit open shots. This was a big win for us."

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