ORONO, Maine – Ethan Mackey crushed his former career-high in points, scoring 24 against the Great Danes, but Albany's Gary Johnson dominated in the paint as Maine fell, 85-78 in Memorial Gym, Saturday afternoon. With the loss Maine falls to 3-14 and 1-4 in conference while Albany snaps a two-game losing skid and improves to 9-9 and 3-2 in America East play.
Both the Great Danes and the Black Bears featured players who recorded new career-high in points as Johnson bested his previous high of 16, scoring 28 while Mackey bested his previous point total of 10, with 24.
Mackey was nearly flawless from the field, scoring 11-of-12 and chipped in 2-of-4 from the charity stripe, while Johnson made the Black Bears pay from the line going 10-of-14 in free throw chances. Johnson added nine field goals (9-of-11) to bring his total to 28.
Both team's recorded impressive shooting percentages as Albany edged Maine by one-tenth of a point, 52.8-52.7. The Black Bears also reversed a season-trend , outrebounding the Great Danes, 34-23 in the losing effort
Albany got off to a hot start, opening the game on a 10-2 run, forcing a Maine timeout at the 16:46 mark of the first half. The run was capped by a DJ Evans trey with the assist going to Ede Egharevba.
The lead got up to 13 points later in the half as Egharevba nailed a 3-pointer at the 13:06 mark with Evans feeding the sophomore forward, as the Great Danes made it 19-6 with 13:06 left in the half.
Maine clawed back into the game going on a 23-8 run as Maine used the long-range bucket to record their first lead of the game. Xavier Pollard, Dimitry Akanda-Coronel, and Zarko Valjarevic all tallied treys, giving Maine a 29-27 lead with 6:39 remaining.
Albany regained the lead to end the half however as the squad finished the first frame on a 15-10 run to give the Great Danes a 42-39 lead at the break.
Maine was impressive shooting the basketball in the first half recording a 61 percent field goal percentage while Albany shot 51 percent.
Pollard cut the Albany lead to just one to open the second half hitting on a jumper to make it 42-41. However Albany took over from there, increasing its lead to 14 as the team went on a 21-8 run with just under 13:00 minutes left in the game.
The lead hovered around double-digits for most of the second half but Maine used a late surge to get the lead to three with: 55 seconds left in the game, capped by a Gloger layup and free throw, completing a 3-point play.
Maine appeared to be in the drivers seat with the score 79-76 with 28 seconds left, as Albany's Peter Hooley turned the ball over giving the Black Bears possession, looking to tie things up.
Maine got the ball into the hands of its deadliest 3-point shooter but Valjarevic was off on the shot and Hooley made up for the turnover, rebounding the ball and getting fouled by Shaun Lawton
The Great Danes never looked back, connecting on six free-throw chances in the last 16 seconds of the game as Albany won 85-78.
The Black Bears will conclude what has been a three-game home stand, which started against Vermont on Jan. 16, as Maine hosts America East newcomer, UMass-Lowell on Jan. 23 at the Cross Insurance Center. The game is slated for 7 p.m.