Hartford stuns three-time America East Conference tourney champion Albany

You know what the familiar adage is,

“You are as good as your next game.”

Hartford lost this past Saturday in Albany 75-59.  Guess what bulletin board material was used on the coach’s dry erase board entering Wednesday night’s first round America East Conference tournament game?

Whatever was said worked very well, as the Hawks raced to a 38-21 halftime lead and had to hold on for dear life in the second half in a stunning 68-59 defeat of the Great Danes.  The loss halted Albany’s 19 game home court winning streak and occurred on the same day in 2002 where it was the same exact outcome, with Hartford winning that year by a 65-49 count.

Leading the way for Hartford was Pancake Thomas (yes, that’s his real name) scoring 16 points while Jalen Ross and George Blagojevic chipped in with 13 each.

The loss more than likely ends the brilliant college career of 6’4″, 200 pound Australian guard Peter Hooley.  He finished his career in Albany with exactly 1,500 points while shooting 40.2 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from long distance.  He scored 11 in the loss, while the Great Danes were led in scoring by Ray Sanders’ 13 points.  The team’s leading scorer Evan Singletary (averaged 19 ppg during the regular season) managed to score only six points on the night.

Albany finished their season at 24-8, while Hartford will take their 10-22 record to Stony Book for a semifinal match on Monday night.

Elsewhere, in the NEC…

The 6 seed in LIU Brooklyn upended the 3 seed in Sacred Heart, 84-76 and LIUB will take on Fairleigh Dickinson who edged out St. Francis 74-72.  The top half of the bracket had top seed Wagner edge out the 8 seed in Robert Morris 59-50 and Mount St. Mary’s again working their conference tournament magic as the 5 seed took out the 4 seed of St. Francis (NY) 60-51.  Their semifinal games will take place on Saturday.

In Nashville at the Ohio Valley tournament…

Chris Horton had a monster game, matching a career high scoring 37 points and setting a new career high pulling down 21 rebounds as the 8 seed of Murray State won convincingly 92-72 over the 5 seed in Tennessee Tech.  They will next play Tennessee State at 7 p.m. Eastern tomorrow night.

Murray State also won by double digits over Eastern Illinois, so the Racers keep their season alive for at least 24 hours and will get another crack at the 3 seed of Morehead State in the late game on Thursday night.

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