Men’s Basketball Meets Yale at SEFCU Arena in Final Home Game of 2013

GAME NOTES

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ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany men’s basketball (5-5) concludes its nonconference home slate on Friday night at 7 p.m., against Yale (5-5).

Despite a double-double effort from Sam Rowley, the Great Danes fell 69-60 against Colgate in their SEFCU homecoming after four games on the road on Saturday. Rowley had 21 points and 11 boards, enough to tie his career-high in points.

Gary Johnson made a career-high six field goals in the loss, and John Puk brought down 10 rebounds. It was the first double-digit rebounding effort for the starting center since Jan. 2, 2012.

UAlbany also committed a season-low six turnovers, but gave up a season-high 28 3-point field goal attempts to the Raiders.

SAM ROWLEY NAMED AMERICA EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Junior forward Sam Rowley was named America East Player of the Week on Dec. 16 after scoring 41 points and bringing down 16 rebounds in two games. Rowley had 20 points and five boards in a 74-68 win over Brown, and notched a double-double (21 pts, 11 rebs) in a 69-60 loss to Colgate. He has scored 10 points or more in eight of the first 10 games with two double-doubles. The junior has six career double-doubles and has scored 20 points or more in three games so far this season.

TOP-10 COUNTDOWN

Through the first 10 nonconference games, the 2013-14 squad has the second-best record on the road of any UAlbany team in the last 10 years at 4-3. The 2012-13 team was 4-1 to rank first in the last decade.

The 2013-14 Danes have the top free throw percentage of any team in the last 10 years at 76.4% through the first 10 games. Leading the way for the Purple & Gold in the category is Peter Hooley (51-59, .864), DJ Evans (31-40, .775) and Gary Johnson (23-30, .767). This year’s team has also made more total free throws (181, 18.1 per game) than any team in the last decade through the first 10 games.

UAlbany is going to the paint more than ever this season, making a decade-low 37 3-pointers through the first 10 games. Of the 37, Hooley has made 17 and Evans has made 11. The Great Danes made 31 3-point field goals through the first seven games, but have made just six combined in the last three contests.

FREE YOUR MIND

The Great Danes are ranked No. 13 in the nation in free throw percentage (76.4%). UAlbany tops the league in the category for the sixth-straight week this season. Despite only shooting 12 free throws against Colgate, the Purple & Gold is still making more free throws than its opponents are attempting (181-152). Peter Hooley ranks fourth in the conference in free throw percentage (.864), and is the only player in the top-10 to take at least 40 free throws (51-59).

STEPPING UP IN THE FIRST THIRD OF THE SEASON

With the 2013-14 regular season over 1/3 gone, this year’s starting line-up has emerged as one of the most improved statistical line-ups in program history. The only current starter who returned from last year’s starting rotation at this point in the season is John Puk. The other four 2013-14 starters have seen an average improvement of 8.6 points per game from last year through the first 10 games of the nonconference schedule. All four are also averaging double-digit scoring through the first 10 games. Evans, Johnson and Rowley are contributing six times the assists they were last season (10 vs. 60) at this point in the year.

   

2012-13

 

 

2013-14

 

DJ Evans

2.5 ppg

2 steals

4 assists

10.8 ppg

15 steals

26 assists

Peter Hooley

6.9 ppg

21-24 fta-ftm

 

15.0 ppg

51-59 ftm-fta

 

Gary Johnson

1.2 ppg

1.2 rpg

1 assist

10.9 ppg

4.9 rpg

16 assists

Sam Rowley

6.3 ppg

4.4 rpg

5 assists

14.4 ppg

7.6 rpg

18 assists

John Puk

5.9 ppg

4.5 rpg

5 blocks

5.5 ppg

4.8 rpg

10 blocks

SCOUTING YALE

• Yale head coach James Jones returns to Albany, where it all began. Jones played for UAlbany under Doc Sauers from 1982-86. He served as an assistant from 1990-95.

• Not only does Jones have connections to UAlbany as a player, but his brother Joe Jones is the head coach at former America East rival Boston University. The Terriers are in their first year as a member of the Patriot League in 2013-14.

• The Bulldogs are out to a 5-5 start, with losses to the likes of Rutgers, UConn and Providence.

• Sophomore forward Justin Sears scored a career-high 31 points against the Friars in a 76-74 loss at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Tuesday night. Sears ranks second in scoring in the Ivy League with 18.3 points per game. He also ranks second in the league in rebounding with 7.3 rpg.

• The all-time series between the Great Danes and Bulldogs is tied 2-2. The last two meetings were both decided by 21 points.