|Points||Joe Cremo (22)||Mike Smith (21)|
|Rebounds||Greig Stire (8)||Luke Petrasek (7)|
|Assists||Three tied with two||Mike Smith (5)|
|Steals||Four tied with 1||Luke Petrasek (2)|
|Blocks||Marqueese Grayson (1)||Luke Petrasek (3)|
NEW YORK — In a back-and-forth slugfest that saw a combined 47 fouls, 13 tie scores and 12 lead changes UAlbany came away with a 70-67 road victory over the Columbia men’s basketball team Friday night. The Lions (4-7) led by as many as nine points in the second half, but the Great Danes (8-6) responded with a 12-0 run to take the lead and held off a late Columbia rally to pick up the road win.
Mike Smith led the way with 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting and added five assists.
Columbia shared the ball well early, assisting on their first five field goals of the game to hold an early 11-9 lead eight minutes in. The Lions played strong defense, holding the Great Danes to just 32.0 percent shooting in the first half. However, UAlbany stayed in the game by going 10-for-10 from the foul line and trailed just 30-28 at the break.
UAlbany quickly erased its deficit with five points in the opening 48 seconds of the second half, but back-to-back treys by Luke Petrasek capped an 11-0 outburst to put Columbia back in front, 41-33, at the 15:51 marker. A Rodney Hunter steal led to Quinton Adlesh finding Patrick Tape for a transition slam to give the Lions its largest advantage of the night, 46-37, with 13:59 to play before the Great Danes 12 unanswered points.
The Lions stopped the bleeding after a pull-up jumper by Smith from the left elbow and restored a two-point advantage after a Nate Hickman free throw with 7:49 to play. The Great Danes’ David Nichols, who finished with 21 points, evened things up on the next possession and Joe Cremo went 3-of-4 from the line to put UAlbany back in front.
After the teams traded turnovers, Hickman came up with the play of the game, driving to his right and leaping over a defender for a one-handed jam that put the Levien faithful on their feet to knot things up, 54-54, with 5:24 remaining.
Nichols responded with a long two on the other end to give the Great Danes the lead for good and Dallas Ennemma canned a triple from the left wing to give his team its largest lead of the night, 64-58, before one last comeback bid by Columbia.
The Lions’ full court pressure forced a pair of turnovers and Jeff Coby’s layup with 56 seconds to go trimmed the margin to two, but UAlbany came through with an old fashioned 3-point play on the ensuing possession. Smith made it 67-64 with a layup with 27 seconds remaining and Petrasek intercepted a long pass to give Columbia the ball back. However, the Lions misfired from downtown and missed a pair of free throws on their next trip down the floor.
The Great Danes left the door open by missing a free throw at the other end and Smith canned a long trey to pull Columbia within 68-67 and the Lions fouled with 0.4 seconds left. Nichols converted both free throws and a last second heave came after the final buzzer as UAlbany escaped victorious.
Cremo led the Great Danes with 22 points, going 7-of-10 from the field.
The Lions shot 50.0 percent in the second half and 47.1 percent for the game. UAlbany went 13-of-27 (48.1 percent) in the second half and finished the game 24-for-28 (85.7 percent) from the charity stripe. The Great Danes outrebounded Columbia 39-27.
Tickets for upcoming home games are still available and can be purchased by visiting GoColumbiaLions.com/Tickets or by calling 888-LIONS-11.
- Columbia drops to 1-4 all-time against UAlbany.
- The Lions had nine steals for the second straight game and are averaging 10.7 swipes in their last three games.