Albany 85, Concordia 57: Stingers Men’s Basketball Lose to Streaky Shooting Opponents

Rookie Sami Jahan Shines in the Fourth Quarter Despite Tough Loss

Stingers fail to match the NCAA’s Albany Great Danes as they suffer tough defeat at home Photo Elisa Barbier

Coming off a strong victory against the Bermuda National Team on August 13, the Stingers played their fourth game of the preseason against another international opponent, the NCAA University of Albany Great Danes this past Wednesday.

Albany Sophomore Malachi De Souza opened the scoring with a dunk after a slow defensive rotation from the Stingers left him with a wide-open lane. The early defensive lapse would eventually be a theme for the Concordia defense throughout the game.

The Great Danes quickly built an 11-2 lead after just four minutes of action as the home side struggled to make baskets on offense and keep up with Albany’s ball movement.

Concordia found success inside though, with 10 of its 16 first quarter points coming inside the paint.

Two successful drives to the basket by Oge Nwoko pushed the game back within reach for the Stingers. The third-year guard did not score for the rest of the game but was responsible for Concordia’s first six points and added three rebounds and three assists on the night.

Despite Nwoko’s scoring burst, the Stingers struggled to catch up after their opponents’ early lead, as their outside shot went cold. The team made just two of their nine three-point attempts in the first quarter and just seven of 30 all game.

After a drive to the basket pulled the Concordia defense into the paint, the ball found Albany guard Jojo Anderson who drilled a three pointer from the wing. Anderson, who finished with a game high 16 points, pushed the Great Danes lead back to six, ending the quarter up 22-16.

In the second quarter, things looked up for the Stingers after a series of positive plays.

With just under nine minutes to go, forward Aleksandar Simeunovic came up with a big block. Then, fifth year guard Adrian Armstrong – who ended the game with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists – hit a big three after making just one of four in the first quarter.

On the next possession, Armstrong showed his experience with a savvy steal and quick pass to forward Olivier Simon for a layup on the fast break, cutting Albany’s lead to just three points and bringing the score to 26-23 with just under five minutes left on the clock.

However, Concordia was unable to find the energy to keep up with Albany’s motor on the glass, as they were outrebounded 46 to 30 at the end of the game.

After the Stingers gave their opponents second and third chances, the Great Danes made sure to capitalize by going on a run and ending the half up 38-26.

This showed as Concordia only scored two second chance points as opposed to their opponents 12.

“Going forward, we have to find a way to spark the energy back up because we lost it and we never brought it back,” Armstrong said after the game.

The Stingers also failed to secure rebounds, tipping them towards opponents or simply losing the ball. This led to turnovers in dangerous positions.

Although the Stingers only had two more turnovers than their opponents, Albany scored 17 points off those turnovers throughout the game, compared to the Stingers’ six.

In the second half, Albany’s guards put pressure on the Stingers by running a series of screens and handoffs at the top of the arc and driving into the paint. Stingers players were slow to rotate, leaving the Great Danes, who made 50 per cent of their three pointers, only a quick pass or two away from an open shot on almost every possession.

After the third quarter ended 59-42 with Albany in the lead, the Stingers were unable to stop the proverbial bleeding.

Hot shooting in the fourth quarter put the game definitively beyond reach, as Albany made all four of their three-point attempts and 10 of their 18 field goals to seal the victory. At the final buzzer it was 85-57.

In a game where they never led, one bright spot for Concordia was rookie point guard Sami Jahan. Although he struggled on defense throughout the game, Jahan put on a noteworthy offensive performance in the fourth quarter where he scored five of his 13 points.

Despite missing shots earlier in the game, Jahan showed confidence in his game by constantly attacking the rim and making plays happen, either by getting fouled or making a basket.

The rookie also showed a passing game more advanced than his two assists would suggest as he had the ball in his hands extensively in the final quarter and showed the ability to pick out a pass, often setting up the offense with hockey assists that do not show up on the stats sheet.

The Stingers will be looking to put this loss behind them and get another win as they host Queens University on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m.