Hooley Returns to Net 1000th Point in 65-59 Win at NJIT
NEWARK, N.J. – In his first game since a three-week leave of absence, University at Albany junior guard Peter Hooley scored his 1000th point to help the Danes (18-7, 12-0 AE) to a 66-59 victory at NJIT (15-11) on Friday night. The Purple & Gold won its 13th consecutive game.
“We knew coming into this game that it was going to be very difficult,” said head coach Will Brown. “Outside of the first 10 minutes in the first half I thought we played very well…It was a good win, and it’s great to have Peter [Hooley] back.”
A packed gym led to early shooting woes for Brown’s squad, a 6-for-17 clip mid-way through the first half. NJIT got out to an early advantage behind an 8-2 run with two early threes. The Highlanders went 10-for-19 (.526) from the field to start the game.
Wheeler Baker and Ray Sanders drained back-to-back threes to cut the NJIT edge to three points; but a 6-0 spurt put the Highlands back up nine, 27-18 with less than seven minutes to go in the first half.
Hooley’s first three points on the ensuing possession, followed by a three from Dallas Ennema brought the lead to just three, 27-24. Hooley hit a second three at the 4:29 mark to surpass 1,000 points for his career and tie the game at 27. The teams went into the break deadlocked at 30. UAlbany went 6-for-8 from three-point land to close the opening stanza.
After starting the game 4-for-13 (.308) from the field, the Danes closed the first half on a 12-3 run. NJIT went five minutes without a field goal before hitting a three in the final minute.
Playing from behind for the entire first half, Ennema came out of the gate to hit a jumper for a 32-30 lead. The Highlanders responded with a three, but went 0-for-5 from the field to start the second half. UAlbany took advantage with a 7-0 run as NJIT went six minutes without a field goal.
Sam Rowley and Hooley guided the Purple & Gold to a six-point lead on two occasions, but NJIT pushed back mid-way through the half. By the nine-minute mark, the game had tallied its fourth tie at 50 points apiece.
A four-for-four streak at the free throw line courtesy of Sam Rowley and Evan Singletary put the margin at four points, 54-50 with just under eight minutes to play. Sanders and Rowley made one free throw each of a two-shot opportunity with 2:29 on the clock for a 60-54 UAlbany edge.
The Danes sent NJIT’s Daquan Holiday to the charity stripe down the stretch, and he managed to make enough free throws to narrow the lead to 60-59 with 23 seconds to play.
Singletary came up with yet another clutch lay-in on the ensuing possession, putting a three-point buffer in place, 62-59.
Ennema was fouled on the rebound in UAlbany’s end, and went to the line for two free throws. The sophomore missed both, but Hooley swung in for the offensive board to seal the win. Sanders made one free throw to make it a two-possession game with nine seconds left.
Five Danes scored in double figures, led by Sam Rowley with 16. The senior also had eight rebounds. Sanders added 12, followed by 10 from Ennema, Singletary and Hooley.
Hooley became the 10th Division I Dane to eclipse the 1,000-point mark.
The Danes put their 13-game winning streak on the line Tuesday night when they face Stony Brook (16-10, 7-4 AE) at 7:00 p.m. Will Brown’s squad will play three of its last four regular season games at home.