Men’s Basketball Hosts Bucknell in a Match-Up of 2013 NCAA Tournament Teams on Saturday Night

GAME NOTES

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ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany men’s basketball returns home on Saturday night for a marquee match-up against Bucknell (2-2) at 7 p.m. The Bison, like the Great Danes, were an NCAA Second Round team one year ago.

UAlbany lost its second straight road game at Duquesne, 70-59 on Wednesday night. The Great Danes committed a season-high 17 turnovers, including 13 in the first half. Will Brown’s squad also surrendered a season-high eight three-pointers at the hands of the Dukes.

CAREER HIGH FOR HOOLEY

Sophomore shooting guard Peter Hooley became UAlbany’s leading scorer after a 21-point effort at Duquesne on Wednesday night. With the new career high, Hooley is now averaging 14.8 points per game behind three double-digit showings this season. The last time a sophomore led the team in scoring overall was during the 2004-05 season when Jamar Wilson led the squad with 16.9 points per game.

THIRD TIME’S NOT THE CHARM

UAlbany is trying to avoid a three-game losing skid against Bucknell. The last time the Great Danes lost three straight in nonconference play was in 2010-11, when UAlbany opened the season 0-3.

I CURSE THE DAY, NOVEMBER 20

In the 70-59 loss to Duquesne, UAlbany shot a season-low 57.9% from the free throw line. It was the worst performance for UAlbany since a .545 shooting clip last year on the same day at South Carolina State.

REBOUNDING ROWLEY

Sam Rowley recorded his sixth career game with 10 or more rebounds against Duquesne. Despite only playing 24 minutes the junior grabbed 10 rebounds, including four on the offensive end, to lead the Great Danes in the category.

DOUBLE THE DOUBLE FIGURES

For the first time this season, UAlbany did not have three or more players in double figures against Duquesne. Hooley led the team with 21 points, and Gary Johnson also notched 12 to match his career high.

UNDERDOG DANES

In their first four games this season, the Great Danes have never led at halftime. The come-from-behind strategy has worked at home and at the Times Union Center so far this season. UAlbany hedged a comeback from a 14-point deficit at halftime against Duquesne, scoring 14 points in five minutes to begin the second half.

KEEPING UP WITH THE JOHNSON’S

Senior guard Gary Johnson has been one of the most consistent players for UAlbany so far this season. Johnson has gone 50% or better from the field in every game, and has gone 10-for-11 overall from the free throw line. He has also brought down at least three rebounds in four games and is averaging 10 points per game.

SCOUTING BUCKNELL

• Bucknell is 2-0 when scoring at least 70 points. The Bison are averaging 73.2 for the season.

• The Bison are on fire from everywhere, shooting 50.7% (113-223) from the field, 42.6% (29-68) from the three-point line and 79.2% (38-48) from the free throw line.

• Bucknell is averaging 31.5 fouls per game compared to UAlbany’s 18.25, but Bucknell is averaging under 10 turnovers per game.

• The Bison were picked to finish fourth in the Patriot League Preseason poll, despite making their second NCAA appearance in the last three seasons in 2013. Former America East member Boston University was selected to win the Patriot League.

• Four players are averaging double figures for Bucknell, including Cameron Ayers (17.8 ppg), Steven Kaspar (12.3 ppg), Brian Fitzpatrick (10.3 ppg) and Dom Hoffman (10.0 ppg). Ayers was a 2013 Preseason All-Patriot League selection.