ALBANY, N.Y. – Redshirt sophomore Ethan Mackey enjoyed playing in front of his hometown crowd (Voorheesville, N.Y.) as he recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds but Maine Men's Basketball was defeated by Albany, 74-63 at the SEFCU Arena on Saturday. With the loss the Black Bears are no 5-20 and 3-10 in conference while Albany improves to 13-13 and 7-6 in America East play.
Mackey played against Albany earlier this year and recorded a new career-high in points, tallying 24 in the win but had a chance to show what he can do in front of a myriad of his friends and family, recording a new career-high in boards.
The Black Bears played one of its best halves in recent memory, whittling a 20 point lead down to one, going on a 29-10 run to open the frame and challenged the rest of the way.
While the story of the game for Maine was the play of Mackey, it was Zarko Valjarevic, who paced the offense with 15 points, as the Black Bears finished the game shooting 39 percent from the field.
Peter Hooley sparked the Great Danes scoring 21 points for the game while DJ Evans was next on the scoring list, recording 16 and assisting Albany's shooting percentage of 45 percent from the field.
The Great Danes edged the Black Bears in the rebounding department, 36-34 while Maine turned it over 17 times to Albany's 15.
The Great Danes didn't waste any time jumping on the Black Bears going on a 24-4 run in the first seven minutes of the half.
The Black Bears began to gain some offensive traction headed into the under eight minute media time out as they went on a slight run of their own, edging the Great Danes, 11-10 in the next 4:44 minutes of play. A Pollard trey at the 12:11 mark highlighted the run as the Black Bears headed to the break down 32-15.
Headed into the final break of the first half, the Black Bears once again edged Albany in scoring going on a 10-7 run sparked by back-to-back treys by Troy Reid-Knight and Valjarevic just 30 seconds apart, heading to the under four minute media timeout down, 39-25.
The Great Danes reasserted itself in the final two minutes of the half closing on an 8-2 run to head to the halftime break up 47-27, the largest lead it held all half.
A pair of Great Danes led the way in the first frame as Gary Johnson and Hooley tallied nine apiece. Meanwhile Valjarevic and Xavier Pollard, who both scored five points, led all Black Bears scorers.
Mackey provided a bright spot, coming down with eight boards and coming away with four points.
Maine shot just 33 percent in the first half while Albany finished shooting 46 percent from the field.
The Black Bears looked like a different team to start the second half opening the frame on a 14-4 run in the first 4:19 seconds. Gloger scored six points on the run as Maine cut the deficit to just 10, 51-41 with 14:57 left in the half.
Between the under 16 media timeout and under 12, the Great Danes and Black Bears kept pace with one another as they both scored six points to make it 57-47 with 11:23 left in the frame.
Mackey tallied back-to-back layups combined with a Valjarevic trey and Lawton free throw makes as the Black Bears got the deficit down to just one, 57-56 with 8:02 left in the game.
Albany began to reassert itself going on an 8-2 run since the 8:02 mark as Hooley, Ennema and Evans combine for buckets to make it 65-58 with 3:42 remaining in the game.
The Black Bears got it back to seven points as Mackey reached his firs career double-double, hitting a layup and connecting on an ensuing free throw. The three points got Mackey to 12 to combine with his 12 boards.
While the Black Bears threatened the rest of the way, they never came closer than one, as Albany closed the final eight minutes on a 17-7 run to win the game, 74-63.
The Black Bears head back home for their next contest as they host Stony Brook on Sunday, Feb. 23. That game is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center.