LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Ray Spalding's jumper with 1:40 left lifted Louisville to a 70-68 victory over a resilient Albany squad Wednesday night.
The Cardinals (9-2) overcame a long drought to reclaim the lead in the final minutes and finished off the Gotham Classic perfect in four games. Wednesday's game was the toughest of the bunch.
The Great Danes (11-3) trailed by as many as 12 in the first half, but they used a 15-1 second half run to storm back. Travis Charles knocked down a pair of free throws with 5:21 left to give Albany a 61-60 lead, its first since the game's opening minute.
However, the Cardinals rallied behind the heroics of the Louisville native, who finished with seven points, and Ryan McMahon. Spalding, a junior, scored four straight points in a 37-second span to give the Cards a 66-65 lead with 100 seconds left. Then McMahon, hit a 3-pointer with 1:02 left to make it 69-65.
McMahon, a sophomore guard, came off the bench to tie his career high with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He made 5 of 8 from beyond the arc.
The Great Danes had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Devonte Campbell's 3-pointer bounced off the rim,
Quentin Snider led the Cardinals with 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Joe Cremo scored 18 to pace the Great Danes.
Albany: The Great Danes came into the game off to their best Division I start ever thanks in some part to their work on the glass. While Albany won the rebounding battle 52-37, it couldn't offset a poor shooting night. The Great Danes shot just 36.5 percent - their second worst of the season - and more importantly, the 21 offensive rebounds resulted in only 13 second-chance points.
Louisville: While the Cardinals couldn't dominate on the boards, they found other ways to use their size to stymie Albany. The nation's second-best shot blocking team swatted away 10 shots, with Anas Mahmoud tying a career high with nine. It marked the fourth time this season Louisville registered at least 10 blocks.
Albany: The Great Danes won't play again until after Christmas. They host Kent State on Dec. 28 in their final non-conference game before delving into America East action.
Louisville: The Cardinals play host to Grand Canyon on Saturday afternoon. The Antelopes will serve as Louisville's last tune up before its game against archrival Kentucky on Dec. 29 in Lexington.
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