UAlbany basketball teams set to take on UMass Lowell – The Daily Gazette

ALBANY – For both UAlbany basketball teams, after losing to rival SUNY who announced on Tuesday that they are leaving the America East after this season, there is no time to lament over what went wrong last weekend.

The Great Danes men’s and women’s teams each lost matchups with Stony Brook, but the contests against UMass Lowell are scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Both groups of Great Danes already have wins this season against the River Hawks. UAlbany head coach’s men’s basketball team Dwayne Killings won 57-47 earlier this month at SEFCU Arena against UMass Lowell, while head coach’s women’s basketball program Colleen Mullen took a 58-52 victory.

This week, the men’s team is on the road against UMass Lowell, while the women’s team plays the first of consecutive games at home.

HAHNE IS MAKING PROGRESS

While it’s unclear whether Ellen Hahne (health and safety protocols) will play in Wednesday’s game for Mullen’s side, the senior striker has returned to training after missing the last six games.

“I hadn’t really been able to practice for a while now,” Hahne said after Tuesday’s practice. “I just got home and I’m taking it day by day, [seeing] where I am.

Kayla Cooper delivered several standout performances in Hahne’s absence, but the Great Danes will happily welcome Hahne – one of the team’s best players – into the mix when she’s ready to go. Mullen said Hahne’s return to practice served as “almost a deep breath for everyone”, in the way his presence calmed the group down, and junior Grace Heeps backed that up.

“I’m very excited to have her back and to have another leader to add to the field, both offensively and defensively,” Heeps said. “I think we’ve all been waiting for this moment. It’s as if we were finally complete. Everyone is healthy, everyone is back. So it’s very exciting for us, that’s for sure.

Due to injuries and health and safety protocols related to the novel coronavirus pandemic, UAlbany has not played a game with its full roster of available players since its Dec. 21 win over Central Connecticut. The Great Danes are 5-2 during this streak.

Against UMass Lowell (3-1 America East, 6-7 overall), UAlbany (4-2, 11-6) will be looking to keep their perfect record at SEFCU Arena. The Great Danes have won all eight games they have played this season at home.

While Tuesday’s practice was her first full-contact practice since late December, Hahne said she’s been participating in some team activities for several days. The Swedish senior said she was “very hopeful” of being able to play against UMass Lowell.

“So we’ll see, but it’s really fun to be on the pitch with the team again,” Hahne said.

‘CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK’

Wednesday’s game at the Costello Athletic Center in Lowell, Mass., marks the start of a three-game, six-day road streak for the University of Albany men’s basketball team that Killings has dubbed the “championship week” for its program.

Freshman Justin Neely says the team understands there’s no “trophy at the end” to win with a successful trio of games, but the Great Danes want to use the week to show that they have courage for the championship later in the season.

“It’s great for our culture,” Neely said ahead of practice on Tuesday. “We have back-to-back games to really show how competitive we are. . . and we’re looking to go out 3-0.

Usually teams strive to stay focused on a single game. Killings, however, said he often takes a three-game-at-a-time approach to monitoring his club’s progress, and wants to use the next set of games to somewhat mimic the playoffs when a team needs to to earn. three America East playoff games to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

“So we have to put that in their minds a bit. Now, we don’t watch every game; we’re focused on the moment and we’re talking about being consumed in the moment we are,” Killings said. “But, at the same time, we have a great opportunity to challenge our schedule over a three-game span – and I want to be honest with our guys. I mean, you know, I think you say a lot of things as coaches, but the reality is you have three big games in a week, and I know when they get to their dorm they think about the three of them, but we have to focus on one of them at a time.

After facing UMass Lowell (2-4, 10-8), UAlbany (3-3, 7-11) plays NJIT on Saturday and conference-leading Vermont two days later. Starting with their game against the River Hawks, UAlbany wants to get back to their style of basketball after the Great Danes uncharacteristically allowed Stony Brook to score 86 points last weekend in a streak-ending loss of three consecutive victories for the Killings club. .

“We want to keep teams out of transition, we want to control the tempo, and we want to win games,” said Jamel Horton of the University of Albany. “It’s what we do best.”

With UAlbany already without four scholarships due to season-ending injuries, rookie Aaron Reddish may also miss the Great Danes’ game against UMass Lowell. Reddish injured his ankle in Monday’s practice and did not participate in Tuesday’s practice.

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