On a two-game winning streak, Albany’s men head to Buffalo

After going 1-7 in their first eight games, the University of Albany men’s basketball team improved to 3-7 before a clash with Niagara on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Buffalo.

Graduate guard De’Vondre Perry said there was a simple reason.

“A lot of guys are doing extra work and going into the lab and getting shot,” he said.

Senior goaltender Jamel Horton, for example, netted a key 3-point basket in the dying minutes of Albany’s victory over ACC foe Boston College on Monday.

“The reason he did that shot is after practice, or sometimes on weekends or late at night, he’s in the gym with (assistant coach) Matt Griffin,” Albany coach Dwayne said. Killings.

These changes have been evident in more than game situations.

Whenever there is a turnover in training, the coaching staff pops a ball. That sound is less and less common, graduate center Paul Newman said, as the team slashed revenue. The Great Danes had just seven against Boston College, half their average.

“One of the things that we talked about was a bit of a challenge, is keeping their focus where we want it for all practice,” Killings said. It is improving too.

Not to say that there are no areas that still need work.

“We had a few late turnovers, really late in the second half, and just a little bit of boxing and stuff,” Perry said. “Small things, but things that really matter.”

He gave the ball away in the last minute against Boston College, but came back on defense and blocked the next shot attempt.

After dropping out of a contest they thought they could have won against Yale on December 7, the Danes had a long discussion in the locker room.

In the next game, they beat Columbia, relinquishing a 21-point lead before winning on last-minute free throws from Perry.

And then they handed Boston College their first home loss this season less than 48 hours later, securing baskets at key moments from Horton and graduating guard Matt Cerruti to maintain a narrow lead.

But the game, exciting as it was, was “just another victory,” Perry said.

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Or: KeyBank Center, Buffalo

Stream / Radio: purpleeagles.com; WTMM 104.5 FM

“I never go too high, I never go too low and try to preach that to the team,” he added.

Next up is a trip to play in Niagara (4-6). Like the Great Danes, the Purple Eagles set a schedule with a Top 25 opponent, losing to No.17 Ohio State 84-74.

“(Niagara Coach) Greg Paulus and his Niagara program, they’re good,” Killings said. “They can score, they change a lot of defense, they will challenge you.”

The Purple Eagles are led by senior goaltender Marcus Hammond, who is averaging an MAAC-high 17.3 points per game.

The game is part of a Big 4 Basketball Tripleheader and will take place at KeyBank Arena, home of the NHL Buffalo Sabers.

After a tough start to the season that saw the Great Danes drop their first five games, the Great Danes are building up some momentum. But Killings knows how fragile that can be.

“We have to hang on to it and we have to understand, okay now that we have won we have to prepare a little better, we have to train a little better,” he said.

Notes: Ny’Mire Little has a slight ACL sprain and is being assessed on a day-to-day basis. He trained on Thursday and could play next week. … Aaron Reddish, who was sent off for a blatant technique against Columbia, did not dress for Boston College because he was suspended for a game under NCAA rules. He will be back this weekend.

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