UAlbany to Battle Binghamton in 16th Annual Big Purple Growl

THE STARTING FIVE

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1. Annual Big Purple Growl
Saturday, Feb. 2's game will mark the 16th annual Big Purple Growl. The game serves as a signature University event with students, alumni, faculty and the local community coming together to proudly support UAlbany's men and women's basketball teams. The event has averaged over 4,000 fans and sold out (4,538) five of the last seven years. The Great Danes are 10-5 all-time in BPG games. The Great Danes defeated Binghamton, in a sellout crowd, on Feb. 3, 2007, 65-62.

2. A Quiet Rivalry
The Great Danes and the Bearcats will face off for the 91st time, the most either school has faced off against their current Division I opponents and most in UAlbany's history. The Great Danes hold a 61-29 lead in the all-time series. UAlbany defeated Binghamton earlier this season at the Events Center, 71-59. The Great Danes swept the home-and-home series last year.

3. Aussie Advantage
Australian natives Peter Hooley and Sam Rowley have had break out campaigns this season. Both have earned their way into the starting lineup. Hooley, a redshirt-freshman guard, scored in the double-digits in UAlbany's last five contests. He's averaged 13.4 points over the stretch. Rowley, a 6'6 forward, has also emerged. He currently leads the team in rebounds per game, 6.1, and has three double-double's.

4. Breakout Great Dane Performance
Junior College transfer Gary Johnson put together a career night off the bench against Stony Brook. The 6'6 forward scored a career-best 12 points while also recording five rebounds. He shot 4-6 from the field, recording just one turnover in 22 minutes of action.

5. Finding His Timing
Blake Metcalf has been defending the paint very well the past few games. Metcalf has blocked six shots in the past four games and averaging 0.8 blocks a game this season, which is 10th best in the America East Conference. With his two blocks against Stony Brook, Metcalf is tied-for eighth all-time at UAlbany at 68 blocks. The Camby, Ind. native is striving to past ex-teammate Brett Gifford (2006-10), who stands seventh all-time with 75 career blocks.