UAlbany MBB Pushes Big East Champion Providence to the Brink, Narrowly Falls 64-60
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Off 18 points from Evan Singletary and Peter Hooley’s 15 points, the UAlbany men’s basketball team had the lead with under five minutes left in a back-and-forth battle at Providence, just coming short in the end in a 64-60 defeat on Saturday night.
“If you had told me we’d had been in the game with [Sam] Rowley sitting next to me [with foul trouble] most of the time, I thought the game could have been ugly, just because it was the first college game for guys like Singletary and [Ray] Sanders,” said UAlbany coach Will Brown. “We got good production from a lot of guys tonight.”
UAlbany (0-1) outshot Providence (1-0) 47.2% to 40.7% and had the lead at the half. Singletary, in his debut with UAlbany, went 8-15 from the field for his 18 points, including 16 in the second half.
“I think we played well, the turnovers did hurt us tonight,” said Singletary. “I think if we had a shot every possession, we might have won the game.”
Hooley added 15 points and a team-high six assists. Ray Sanders scored 10 points in his first game with UAlbany, going 4-6 from the floor with four rebounds. Mike Rowley finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
For the Friars, LaDontae Henton concluded with a double-double on 21 points and 11 rebounds. Tyler Harris led the team in scoring with 23 points, adding four assists.
The UAlbany defense held against the quick Providence offense, holding the Friars without points in the opening 3:29. Mike Rowley netted a long jumper as UAlbany had the early 2-0 lead. The home team countered with a 7-0 run to go up 7-2.
Sam Rowley swiped an in-bounds pass and went coast-to-coast to score on a layup. He followed by swatting away a Providence shot as UAlbany stood down three 7-4. Following a home team basket, Hooley hit a high floater from inside the paint to make it 9-6 Providence.
Both teams had trouble getting the offense going in the early going due to turnovers. Down 17-11, Hooley and Wheeler Baker each buried threes from the right elbow to tie the game at 17.
Providence got the next four points, then Sanders went on a personal 4-0 run on layups in a span of 12 seconds. Following another Providence basket, Hooley snuck past the defense in transition for the layup, then took a rebound off top the arc and went the whole way to score, putting UAlbany ahead 25-23 with 3:27 left in the 1st.
The UAlbany defense forced Providence away from the basket to incur long shots. The Great Danes held the Friars without a field goal in the four minutes leading to the final seconds of the half, taking a 27-26 advantage to the locker room.
Singletary hit the first shot out of the locker room with an uncontested layup. The second half started high-octane, with Providence hitting a couple of quick baskets, then UAlbany countering with a Rowley long range jumper from the baseline and a Singletary transition layup to go up 33-30. Providence scored seven-in-a-row to go back in front, then Hooley hit a deep three, followed by Singletary netting a backwards, one-handed layup jumping near the backboard to put UAlbany back ahead 38-37 with 14:12 left in the 2nd.
Out of a timeout, Hinton hit a layup and one off an inbounds pass, followed by another Providence basket. Sam Rowley hit a one-hand floater to stop the run, but the Friars took the lead 46-41, focusing on going into the paint.
UAlbany’s defense again forced a Providence scoring drought of over four minutes. Singletary and Sanders hit threes to push UAlbany back ahead, then Mike Rowley nailed a baseline jumper to send the Purple and Gold up 49-46 with 7:30 left in the 2nd.
Providence went on a 6-0 run to take the lead from UAlbany. With the crowd getting loud, Mike Rowley hit another long jumper, then Singletary delivered the ball to the basket in transition to put UAlbany back ahead 53-52 with 4:50 remaining.
Newton hit a quick layup to put Providence back in front as the Great Danes tried to bridge the gap again. Providence later made it 57-53.
Singletary hit the layup on the run to pull UAlbany within a possession with just under two minutes left. UAlbany held on the missed Friar shot, then Hooley got a chance in the corner for three, drawing iron and leading to a Providence rebound. Tyler Harris hit a three up top the arc to make it a five-point game. Again, Singletary hit a big shot, hitting the three from the elbow to put the game back in one possession with 37 seconds left.
Singletary fouled Kris Dunn to force him to the line. Dunn hit both attempts, then UAlbany went the other way. Hooley got fouled in the act of shooting, hitting both of his free throws to again make it a one possession game. Harris got fouled by UAlbany and hit his two free throws to put the game out of reach as Providence took the 64-60 victory.
UAlbany returns for its home opener on Wednesday, November 19th, taking on NJIT at the SEFCU Arena at 7 p.m.