ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Times Union Center may be the home court for the Siena Saints, but the UAlbany Great Danes covered it a cloak of purple and gold Saturday night.
UAlbany swept the event with the men pulling out a 74-69 victory and the women starting the night with a 15-point, 78-63 defeat of the Saints.
The Danes have been more than great the last eight seasons, as the UAlbany women captured their eighth straight Albany Cup. The UAlbany men have displayed significant domination of their cross-town rivals with back-to-back victories, including five of the last six meetings.
Last season’s match-up on the men’s side was memorable for the initial controversy it stirred, as the Great Danes worked out the opportunity to host it’s first game in the current 15 year series. UAlbany elevated to the NCAA Division I level in 1999 and games with Siena had been on a long hiatus since the days when each played at the Division III level.
The Saints were coming off an 86-60 loss at Louisville this week, which saw Siena play very competitively into the second half. At times looking like they could stun the much maligned Cardinal program. UAlbany had disposed of Bryant University 84-68 in their previous contest. Both games were also part of the Gotham Classic, a round-robin tournament that also includes Bryant, Memphis and Louisville.
Early on it appeared that UAlbany would have control of Saturday night’s game with a 38-28 lead, but Siena’s Ahsante Shivers nailed two big three pointers to put the Saints ahead 65-63 with just over four minutes to play. However, Travis Charles led the way for the Great Danes with 19 points and some critical buckets down the stretch.
Scotia native, Joe Cremo was 8 for 10 from the free-throw line, as he added 16 points of his own. Albany native, Greg Stire had 10 rebounds and guard David Nichols added 12 points and 3 assists.
Siena was led by Shivers 13 and Nico Clareth paced the attack with 10 points. Bench play provided the Saints a spark with Roman Penn’s 15 points and Evan Fisher’s 10 tallies with 7 rebounds.
The Great Danes women were all business in the earlier game forcing 10 first quarter turnovers and hitting 8 three pointers in the first half.
Tiana-Jo Carter led all players with 18 points and 10 rebounds for UA.
“We come every day working hard and when we get to the Siena game we know it’s going to be a fight. To come in for my senior year and win it for the fourth-straight time is an amazing feeling, and we’re trying to keep it going,” Carter said.
The Danes completed a 3-0 road trip with their eighth straight victory in the Capital District rivalry.
Men: UAlbany (10-1) at Memphis – Dec. 12 (9 p.m. ESPNU)
Siena (2-7) at Vermont – Dec. 11 (7 p.m. ESPN3)
Women: UAlbany (7-2) at St. Bonaventure – Dec. 17 (2 p.m.)
Siena (4-5) vs. Sacred Heart – Dec. 12 (2 p.m.)