Men’s Basketball Returns to New Jersey to Face NJIT on Sunday Afternoon
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ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany men’s basketball (3-3) will play the other end of a home-and-home series at NJIT (4-3) on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. The Great Danes won the first meeting all-time against the Highlanders at SEFCU Arena on Nov. 12, 71-65.
UAlbany got back in the win column on Tuesday night with a 70-59 win at Rider. Peter Hooley notched another career high in points with 24, as well as setting a new career high in made three-point field goals with five. David Wiegmann had just five fewer rebounds than the entire Broncs squad, tallying a career high with 14.
The Great Danes went a single-game season high 21-for-22 (.955) from the free throw line against Rider, helping to offset a 10-21 turnover advantage for the Broncs.
The Purple & Gold also led at halftime for the first time this season, 32-16. In 2012-13 the Great Danes were 18-0 when leading at the half.
LAST WE MET...
In the first meeting all-time on Nov. 12, DJ Evans scored a career-high 20 points to lead UAlbany over the Highlanders 71-65. Peter Hooley and Sam Rowley tallied 13 and 12 points, respectively, and Gary Johnson led the squad with five rebounds.
The win extended UAlbany to 2-0 on the season, while NJIT fell to 2-0. The Great Danes committed a season-low eight turnovers in the win. The first game against NJIT marks the only game this season the Purple & Gold have limited themselves to single-digit turnovers.
LIVING AT THE FREE THROW LINE
In the win against Rider, UAlbany went 21-for-22 (.955) from the free throw line, including 10-for-10 down the stretch to put the game out of reach for the Broncs. The Great Danes are shooting 78.2% (104-133) from the charity stripe this season to lead the America East. The top free throw percentage in program history was during the 1993-94 season, when the team shot 78.5% (456-581). The best clip in Division I history was in 2011-12 at 75.5% (524-694).
The Great Danes are averaging more made free throws per game (17.3) than their opponents are attempting (14.0).
UAlbany is the only team in the America East to have three players ranked among the conference’s top free throw shooters. Mike Rowley is one of two remaining players in the league to be perfect from the line (6-for-6). Peter Hooley falls just behind him at 91.9% (34-37), and Anders Haas ranks ninth at 83.3% (5-6).
Hooley nearly broke the Division I program record for most single-game free throws without a miss against Bucknell, going 11-for-11. The record is 12-for-12, set by Gerardo Suero in 2011-12.
A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
For the first time this season, the Great Danes led at halftime at Rider. Last season UAlbany was 18-0 when entering the locker room with a lead.
The 70-59 win against the Broncs was also the first time all season that the Great Danes won despite committing more turnovers than their opponent. Will Brown’s squad committed a season-high 21 turnovers, while Rider gave up just 10.
JANUARY, FEBRUARY, GONE ‘TIL NOVEMBER
UAlbany posted a record at or above .500 in the month of November for the third consecutive year. The Great Danes went 5-2 in November in 2012-13 and 4-3 in 2011-12.
CAREER HIGH FOR HOOLEY
For the third consecutive game, Peter Hooley matched or beat his previous career high against Rider. The sophomore scored 24 points, including a career-high five three-point field goals. He also went 7-for-10 from the field and 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Hooley leads the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game, and is averaging more than double his points per game from 2012-13 (8.0 ppg). His 24 points against the Broncs marks his third consecutive game with 20 points or more and his fifth in double figures.
• Since their meeting on Nov. 12, the Highlanders have gone 4-1 with wins at America East foes New Hampshire and Maine. NJIT also downed the Patriot League’s Lafayette in overtime in their home opener.
• In the last meeting, NJIT shot better than 50% from the field (.510, 26-51), but only took 12 free throws.
• Central Conn. State halted NJIT’s four-game winning streak on Tuesday, despite four Highlanders scoring in double figures (Lynn-18, Howard-17, Willis-13, Coleman-12).
• Freshman guard Damon Lynn leads NJIT in scoring with 19.7 ppg. Lynn is averaging 36 minutes per game, and is the only NJIT player to average more than 30 minutes a game. He scored a season-high 27 points at Army on Nov. 15.
• The Great Danes will look to take advantage of their hot shooting streak against NJIT. The Highlanders are giving up 59 field goal attempts per game, while UAlbany is averaging 49 FGA per game. NJIT is also giving up 23 free throw attempts per game, with UAlbany averaging 22 FTA per game.