ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany men’s basketball (15-13, 9-6 AE) gave its seniors one last win in the regular season at SEFCU Arena, downing UNH 66-48. Sam Rowley led UAlbany with 19 points and six rebounds.
“We consider ourselves a family first,” said Rowley. “It’s great to have the seniors win in front of their families, and we had a great team win. It means a lot. To capitalize on the lead we had and extend it to cement the win was good for us heading into Stony Brook.”
A 12-4 run for the Great Danes on 5-for-6 shooting extended the lead to five with 12:30 left in the first half.
UNH’s leading scorer Chris Pelcher picked up his second personal foul with 9:12 left in the first half, but the Albany native didn’t stay out of the game long, returning with 6:30 left in the first when the Wildcats were down eight.
With Pelcher’s return, UAlbany committed four turnovers to let UNH sneak back within two points. Peter Hooley converted on the traditional three-point play with seven seconds left in the first half to send the Purple & Gold into the locker room with a five point-lead, 30-25.
Rowley led all scorers at the half with nine points.
The Great Danes and Wildcats went back and forth to open the second half, but two offensive rebounds from Rowley kept UNH at bay, creating second-chance opportunities. The junior scored six points in two minutes to give the Purple & Gold a six-point lead, 40-34 with 13 minutes left.
An and-one from Luke Devlin ended a late run by the Wildcats, extending UAlbany’s lead to nine with 6:19 remaining. Four straight points from Johnson gave the Great Danes their first double-digit lead 56-45, with five minutes left. UNH failed to score in the final 4:39 of the game.
“It was special tonight,” said Johnson. “The guys were focused and we want to do whatever it takes to win. Tonight we had a good team, collective win.”
Johnson recorded his 12th consecutive game in league play with at least 10 points. John Puk recorded three blocks against the Wildcats. The senior has tallied three blocks or more in three of his last four games.
Rowley (19), Johnson (15), Evans (13) and Hooley (12) all recorded double figures in scoring. Hooley, Johnson and Rowley also all recorded a perfect 5-for-5 clip from the free throw line.
Will Brown’s squad concludes the regular season at Stony Brook (20-9, 12-3 AE) on Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 from Pritchard Gym.