Junior guard Robby Ptacek matched his career-high with 26 points, but the Blue Devils dropped their fourth straight game 64-63 on the road at Albany on Saturday night. Central rallied from an 18-point deficit in the second half to take a three point lead in the final minute of play. The Great Danes scored seven of the final 10 points to come away with the victory. The Blue Devils are now 4-5 overall on the season.
Men's Basketball Drops 64-63 Decision at Albany on Saturday Night on the Road
Albany climbed out to an 18-9 lead with 11:53 left in the first half, and used some hot shooting to build the lead. They hit on 8-of-13 to start the game, including a pair of threes. The Blue Devils had four early turnovers to help the Great Danes gain the nine-point edge. The run reached 10-0 and the lead was 21-9 with under 10 minutes to play.
A pair of free-throws from Ptacek stopped the run and were the first points in over six minutes for the Blue Devils.
Albany led 37-22 at the half after using a 26-10 run to turn an 11-9 lead into a 37-19 advantage. A three from junior Ken Horton cut it to 15 at the break. Albany shot 51.7 percent, 15-of-29, from the field and hit five threes. The Blue Devils were just 8-of-26 (30.8 percent) and hit on 3-of-8 from three. They turned the ball over nine times. Ptacek led the way with eight points. They were outrebounded 18-14, including six offensive boards for Albany.
The Albany lead reached as much as 18, 42-24, before the Blue Devils responded with five straight, including a dunk and free-throw by Horton, to cut the lead to 42-29 with 15:36 on the clock. The run reached 12-2 after a free-throw from senior Markeys Deans, and the score was 44-36 at the 12:38 mark.
Nine quick points from the Great Danes upped the lead to 53-36 and forced a Blue Devil timeout. A 10-1 spurt from Central cut it to 54-46, including the 18th points of the game for Ptacek. A Horton three, his second of the game, cut the lead to eight. After Albany pushed the lead back to 10, Ptacek scored five straight and Deans scored on a fast break lay up to make it 56-53 with under four minutes to play.
Sophomore Devan Bailey was called for a technical foul with 3:36 on the clock, and the Great Danes hit one free-throw to make it 57-53. Horton hit a basket and following an Albany turnover Ptacek hit a three to give the Blue Devils a 58-57 lead. Horton's fourth bucket of the half made it 60-57.
Albany scored three straight to tie the game at 60 with under a minute to play, and following a Blue Devil turnover Tim Ambrose hit a jumper in the lane to make it 62-60. Ptacek was called for an offensive foul on the other end and then the Great Danes hit two free-throws to secure the victory.
Ptacek led the offense with his 26 points, matching his career-high. Horton added 15 points and nine boards while Deans had eight points, all in the second half.
The Blue Devils are now off for eight days, and don't play again until next Sunday, Dec. 19, at 3:30 p.m. vs. Niagara. The game is the first of six straight at home for the Blue Devils.