ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — David Nichols, playing in his first game since the death of his sister, tied Albany's 60-year-old record for most points in a game with 40, leading the Great Danes to a 100-71 victory over Hartford on Wednesday night in the first round of the America East Tournament.

Nichols left the team and returned home to Chicago on Sunday following the death of his 24-year-old sister, Cecilia Coleman, from leukemia. He returned to the team on Tuesday.

Nichols, the team's leading scorer at 17.3 ppg, tied the school mark set of 40 by Gary Colway on Feb. 27, 1957, when the Great Danes were a Division III program. Nichols made a career-high 8 of 12 3-point attempts and 14 of 22 shots overall.

Albany, seeded third, will travel to play at No. 2 seed Stony Brook in the semifinals on Monday. The Seawolves defeated No. 7 Binghamton on Wednesday night.

Joe Cremo added 14 points for Albany, which shot 61 percent and was 13 of 25 on 3-pointers.

Jalen Ross scored 22 points and Jason Dunne 20 for the sixth-seeded Hawks (9-23).

Albany led 51-25 at halftime.

Nichols scored inside to reach 40 points and left the game to a standing ovation with four minutes remaining.

"I guess you can say that she was on my mind a lot, but playing for this team, they have been a big help in supporting me," Nichols said after the game. "I wanted to go out there and give my all for these guys, for my family."