By Kevin Sweeney
Freshman Joe Cremo led a balanced scoring attack with 16 points to help Albany hand Stony Brook their first loss since mid-December on Wednesday night. Cremo was one of 5 Danes in double figures. With the win, the Danes move to within 2 games of the Seawolves for first place in the America East conference.
Stony Brook was doomed by poor shooting from the outset, shooting under 40% from the field and just 20% from distance. Albany was able to limit the Seawolves’s two star players, guard Carson Puriefoy and center Jameel Warney, to below their season averages. Puriefoy struggled mightily, shooting just 2-11 from the field for just 10 points. The normally reliable Puriefoy had just one assist compared to four turnovers. The Seawolves also weren’t able to assert their usual dominance on the glass. Stony Brook, who on average out-rebounds their opponents by 8, were out-rebounded by 5 by the Great Danes.
This win should give Albany a boost of confidence as conference tournament play approaches. Another encouraging sign for the Great Danes was a strong shooting night from senior Peter Hooley. Hooley, who had shot just 1-11 from 3 in his past 3 games, was 3-4 from distance tonight. While Hooley is regarded as an excellent 3-point shooter, he has struggled this season, shooting just 23% from 3 this season. If Hooley can build on this performance, he may give the Danes the boost they need to win the America East and reach the NCAA Tournament for the 4th straight season.
Albany will play next in a week at UMASS-Lowell. Stony Brook will look to clinch home-court advantage throughout the America East Tournament on Sunday at Maine.