Sweet Repeat: Men’s Basketball Wins Second-Straight America East Championship
STONY BROOK, N.Y.- The University at Albany men’s basketball team (18-14) downed the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds again in the league tournament to take its second-straight America East title. The Purple & Gold is now 4-0 in the America East title game after beating Stony Brook 69-60 at Pritchard Gym.
Stony Brook started the game firing from all cylinders, taking an early 9-0 lead on 4-for-5 from the field.
Sam Rowley had the first four points for UAlbany, setting the stage for an 18-point night from the junior. The Great Danes went on an 18-4 run to take an 18-13 lead with 11 minutes left in the half. After starting 4-for-5 from the field, Stony Brook committed seven turnovers to UAlbany’s two.
DJ Evans hit one of his two first-half threes to give UAlbany back the one-point lead with 7:20 left in the first. UAlbany went 5-for-6 from the field in the closing moments of the second half to take a 34-31 lead into the locker room at the break.
Stony Brook looked to shift the momentum in its favor early in the second half, as UAlbany failed to score for the first three minutes of the half.
The Great Danes began dealing with foul trouble mid-way through the second half. John Puk and Rowley both has four personal fouls with eight minutes left in the game. The Seawolves took the lead back with 15 minutes left, and extended it to as many as six with 11:30 left.
Stony Brook went 1-for-7 from the field over a five-minute span to close the game and give up the lead. A step-back three from Hooley with 1:43 left in the game gave UAlbany a five-point lead. Six made free throws from Gary Johnson down the stretch sealed the victory 69-60.
The Great Danes made 18 consecutive free throws in the game and went 18-for-19 (.947) from the charity stripe overall. UAlbany’s performance from the free throw line ranks sixth in Division I history. It was also the second-consecutive win for UAlbany over the Seawolves.
Sam Rowley led all scorers with 18 points despite fouling out with seven minutes left in the game. Johnson nearly recorded a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.
The Great Danes will learn their fate in the NCAA Tournament tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m., on the CBS Selection Show special.
AMERICA EAST ALL-TOURNAMENT
Most Outstanding Player
Peter Hooley, G, UAlbany
DJ Evans, G, UAlbany
Peter Hooley, G, UAlbany
Carson Puriefoy, G, Stony Brook
Sam Rowley, F, UAlbany
Jameel Warney, F, Stony Brook