Shock the World: Mike Black powers Albany to 63-62 stunner over Washington for program’s first win over a BCS opponent and head coach Will Brown’s 150th DI victory.Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Mike Black spent most of the first three years of his career out of the spotlight, taking a back seat and second billing behind one flavor-of-the-month teammate after another. On Tuesday night, the senior point guard took center stage and stole the show.
Black scored a game-high 22 points, the last of which came on a heavily contested lay-up with 3.7 seconds left, as the Albany Great Danes shocked Washington on its own floor, 63-62.
“This is awesome,” Albany head coach Will Brown said in a post-game radio interview. “We played so hard, man. I can’t tell you how proud I am. Nobody thought we had a chance to win this game.”
The win over the defending Pac-12 regular season champions was the first win over a BCS opponent and the biggest regular season win in program history. It was also the 150th Division-I win of Brown’s coaching career. It was a signature win for the Great Danes and the America East Conference, both of which have taken it on the chin during recent seasons.
“It’s my 150th win?” said Brown. “Maybe they’ll give me a raise and an extension. I’ll remember it. We beat a Pac-12 team for my 150th win. I just have to thank those guys for it. I’ve had some great players and some really good teams. Hopefully I’m around to get to 200.”
Black has spent the first three years of his career seeing teammates – Will Harris, Tim Ambrose, Logan Aronhalt and Gerardo Suero – billed as “The Man,” and the program’s best player. If it wasn’t already apparent after last season – a season in which he averaged 13.4 points and 4.3 assists, and emerged as the clear-cut best point guard in the league – it’s now impossible to ignore that the diminutive six-foot senior is the Great Danes’ best player, and quite possibly the best in the league.
Black scored 20 points against fourth-ranked Ohio State in a 82-60 loss on Sunday, and followed it up by scoring 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting Tuesday, while also pacing the Great Danes with team-highs in assists and rebounds, with six and five, respectively.
Black quarterbacked the Danes’ pick-and-roll offense to perfection all night, scoring most of his points blowing by defenders, leaving the bigger Huskies in his dust. The senior closed out both halves with buckets off of slashing drives to the hoop. The first gave the Great Danes a 31-27 lead going into the intermission, the second gave them the game. (more…)