UAlbany led from start to finish and was never seriously threatened in the second half in a 77-68 win over Siena in front of 10,278 fans at Times Union Center Saturday night. Evan Singletary led the way with a career-high 21 points for the Great Danes.
It's the third straight season UAlbany has defeated Siena, and the Great Danes fourth win in the last five years. Siena won eight of the first nine meetings after the rivalry was renewed in 2001.
"The problem is we're lost without Brett Bisping right now," Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said. "And there's no excuses. Siena is a great program. I love the fans. We're doing all we can, stay with us. We have to work some issues out."
UAlbany (3-6) shot 54% from the field, including 63% in the second half. The Great Danes made 8-16 three-pointers, 29-32 free throws and out-rebounded the Saints 30-28.
UAlbany led 34-27 at the half and by at least eight points for the final 14:10. Peter Hooley added 20 points, Sam Rowley had 11 and Dallas Ennema added 10.
"Of course (losing to them hurts a little bit more)," Poole said. "It's the Albany Cup. It's the biggest game of the year around here."
Siena trailed just 27-25 after two Maurice White free throws with 2:33 left in the first half, but Hooley hit a three on UAlbany's next possession to create separation at the break. After Poole's three-pointer with 11:27 left in the game cut the lead to single digits, Ennema answered with a three and was fouled on the other end. The Saints had a chance to get within six late, but Cole's three rimmed out with 1:34 left, and then White missed a putback. Rowley was fouled on the rebound and iced the game with a free throw.
The Saints will try to get back on track at Radford Friday night. They host Cornell December 23 and Bucknell December 28 before resuming MAAC play at Fairfield January 2.