Men’s Basketball Drops Game at Quinnipiac 79-69




HAMDEN, CONN.- Sam Rowley scored 20 points and brought down six rebounds, but a surge from Quinnipiac (2-1) late in the second half led to a 79-69 defeat for UAlbany (2-1) at the hands of the Bobcats.

“We gave up a lot of easy baskets in transition that we can’t give up,” said head coach Will Brown. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds, and it swung very quickly from a one-possession game to game over in a short span.”

The Great Danes opened the game on an 11-0 run on 5-of-6 shooting. Rowley went 3-for-3 in the opening three minutes. The Purple & Gold kept Quinnipiac scoreless for the first 3:30 of the game.

The Bobcats didn’t let up, after opening the game 1-for-6 from the field. Quinnipiac used a 9-2 run mid-way through the first half to come back from the early 11-0 deficit. Umar Shannon scored 19 points in the first half, including a 4-for-7 shooting clip from outside the arch.

Quinnipiac took its first lead with seven minutes left in the first half. UAlbany kept it close from the charity stripe. David Wiegmann went 2-for-2 from the line to keep the Great Danes within one, and Gary Johnson went 3-for-3 from the line in the first half to lead UAlbany to 7-for-8 overall. The Great Danes entered halftime down 41-35.

Rowley continued to have success backing down Quinnipiac’s Ousame Drame in the second half, nearly matching his career high in points. The junior forward’s 20 points against Quinnipiac is one shy of his career high.

John Puk kept Quinnipiac from going on a significant run in the beginning of the second half. With Umar Shannon’s three-pointer from the first half, the Bobcats were on an 11-4 run before Puk scored four-straight points to get UAlbany back some momentum.

The Great Danes cut into the Quinnipiac lead thanks baskets from Rowley, Peter Hooley and David Wiegmann from the 14-minute to the 6-minute mark in the second half. With a Wiegmann lay-up and an 8-2 run, UAlbany was within one with six minutes remaining.

Quinnipiac came back with four points before Puk hit a baseline jumper to make the score 66-63. The jumper gave Puk 10 points for the game. The senior center would eventually total 12, putting forth his first double-digit scoring effort since Feb. 23 of last season, when he had 13 in a 58-50 win at Fairfield.

As the game got more physical with less than five minutes to play, Rowley picked up his fourth foul. Quinnipiac went on a 6-0 run to put the game out of reach for the Purple & Gold.

“They lived up to what we expected,” said Rowley. “We made some crucial turnovers. Our defense was solid, but we let them do what they do best. We need to work on taking teams out of their game plan.”

Quinnipiac recorded its 35th-consecutive game out-rebounding the opposition. The Bobcats earned 21 offensive rebounds, compared to seven for the Great Danes.

UAlbany went scoreless from the 3-point line for the first time since Dec. 30, 2008, when the Great Danes lost to Kansas 79-43 on 0-for-15 from behind the arch.

For the third straight game, UAlbany had three players in double figures, including Rowley (20), Puk (12) and Gary Johnson (11). Johnson was one point shy of his career high of 12 points. The senior guard set a personal best in assists against NJIT with four.

DJ Evans had five assists in the loss to Quinnipiac, a new career high for the senior.

With one block, John Puk matched former teammate Blake Metcalf on the career block leaderboard with 72. The pair ranks tied for eighth all-time and third in the Division I ranks.

UAlbany looks to rebound from its first loss of the season at Duquesne (1-1) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20.



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