Men’s Basketball Concludes Four-Game Road Trip at Brown on Tuesday Night

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ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany men’s basketball (4-4) wraps up a nonconference road trip at Brown (6-2) this Tuesday night at 7 p.m.   

UAlbany led by as many as 10, but fell 62-57 to Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., last Wednesday. Peter Hooley led the Great Danes with 19 points, including 17 in the second half. Sam Rowley led UAlbany in rebounding with seven boards.

In the loss, John Puk had three blocks to become the program’s Division I leader in career blocks with 77. The senior center passed former teammate Blake Metcalf with two blocks at NJIT on Dec. 1, and has at least one block in five of eight games so far this season.

The Great Danes scored a season-low 57 points, and are now 1-4 when scoring 69 points or less.

WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?

The Great Danes are 4-0 against the Bears, making Brown the only team on the nonconference schedule they have not lost to in previous meetings.

In their meeting last season, UAlbany claimed a 57-50 win at SEFCU Arena. In that game, Luke Devlin went 7-for-7 from the charity stripe and 4-for-8 from the field for 15 points. He is the top returning scorer from the game last year. John Puk, Peter Hooley and Sam Rowley also saw time against the Bears in 2012. With a start on Tuesday night, John Puk will have three career starts against Brown.

BROWN VS. THE IVIES

Head coach Will Brown is most successful against the Ivy League school that shares his last name at 4-0. Will Brown did not face an Ivy League opponent in his first two years as head coach, but went on a 10-game winning streak against the Ivy League from 2005-10. The streak was broken in a 65-61 loss to Cornell on Nov. 11, 2010. Coach Brown is 2-0 against Dartmouth, 2-2 against Cornell, 1-1 against Yale, 2-0 against Penn, 2-0 against Columbia and 1-1 against Harvard.

LIVE FREE OR DIE

For the third time this season, UAlbany did not make more free throws than its opponent attempted at Holy Cross. The other two times were in a 79-69 loss at Quinnipiac, where the Bobcats took 14 free throws and the Great Danes made 11; and in a 70-59 loss at Duquesne, when the Dukes took 15 free throws and UAlbany shot a season-low 57.9% from the line (11-19). The only time UAlbany attempted more free throws and still lost this season was against Bucknell.

UAlbany continues to rank among the nation’s and league’s leaders in free throw percentage. The Great Danes top the America East in free throw percentage (.782, 140-179) and rank 16th in the country in the category.

Peter Hooley (4th, 45-50, .900), Mike Rowley (1st, 6-6. 1.000) and John Puk (10th, 9-11, .818) all rank among the league’s top free throw shooters. Hartford is the only other team in the league to have three players in the top-10 in the league.

SENIOR REBOUNDING

Luke Devlin and John Puk are climbing the program Division I career leaderboard in rebounding. Devlin ranks sixth with 441 career rebounds, while Puk ranks ninth with 390. Devlin is also third in Division I program history in offensive rebounds with 153.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON & JOHNSON

Gary Johnson returned to the line-up last week against NJIT, and is the only player averaging 25 minutes or more with single-digit turnovers. The senior has five turnovers for the entire season, and has never committed more than one in a single game. Johnson averaging 9.5 ppg and 4.5 rpg on 56.8% from the field (21-37).

SCOUTING BROWN

• The Bears are out to a 6-2 start behind wins against Binghamton, Sacred Heart, UMass Lowell, Longwood, Central Connecticut and American.

• Brown is 4-2 on the road and undefeated (2-0) at home. Mike Martin’s only two losses came against Providence at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Nov. 13 by four points (73-69) and at Bryant by three points (70-67).

• Martin returns three starters from last year’s game against UAlbany, including Cedric Kuakumensah, Rafael Maia and Sean McGonagill.

• McGonagill is averaging 19.4 points per game in 37.0 minutes played per game to top the Ivy League in scoring.

• Maia is also averaging double digits in scoring (11.7 ppg) and 7.9 rebounds per game. Nearly 1/3 of his total rebounds this season are on the offensive glass (18 offensive, 40 defensive).

• The Bears were picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League preseason poll, behind preseason favorite Harvard (1), Penn (2), Yale (3) and Princeton (4).