Home»UAlbany Sports»Hooley and Rowley Score 17 Points Each to Stunt Siena 74-62 and Take Home Albany Cup

Hooley and Rowley Score 17 Points Each to Stunt Siena 74-62 and Take Home Albany Cup

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Hooley and Rowley Score 17 Points Each to Stunt Siena 74-62 and Take Home Albany Cup


ALBANY, N.Y. – After wiping off the dust in the first half, University at Albany men’s basketball (1-0) brought home the Albany Cup for the second consecutive year. It was the first come-from-behind victory in the series under Will Brown for the Great Danes.

“It’s a great win for our school,” said Sam Rowley. “It’s a fantastic way to start.”

Siena got out to a 7-0 lead early before DJ Evans scored the first Great Dane basket of the 2013-14 season. At the first media timeout at the 15:55 mark, the Saints were 5-for-6 from the field, while the Purple & Gold was just 2-for-6.

UAlbany proved to have the early advantage with the whistle, putting Siena’s Marquis Wright in early foul trouble with two fouls just nine minutes into the game. Wright’s foul put Siena over the limit with more than 11 minutes left in the first half.

The Saints held a double-digit lead for four minutes late in the half before UAlbany began showing signs of life to close the opening period. Levan Shengelia spun past his defender for a dunk with 3:30 left to narrow the lead to eight. Shengelia found Evans on the ensuing position for a three-pointer to make the score 37-30. Anders Haas hit one-of-two free throws to close the half.

At the break, Evans and Haas led UAlbany with six points apiece.

In what was truly a tale of two halves, Sam Rowley scored as many points as he did in the first half in the first two minutes of the second. The junior captain went 5-for-6 in the second half and 3-for-3 in the opening four minutes. With starting center John Puk picking up his fourth foul less than four minutes into the second half, Rowley didn’t let the momentum swing back to the Saints. The forward grabbed an offensive rebound for the put-back to narrow the margin to just one point.

Two free throws from Peter Hooley with 15:27 remaining gave UAlbany its first lead of the game.

The Great Danes used an 11-0 run to get out to a 55-44 lead with just over 10 minutes left. The Saints surged back, holding UAlbany scoreless for nearly four minutes late in the half after throwing a 2-3 zone at the Great Danes.

A technical on the Siena bench gave UAlbany the opportunity to win back the momentum. After Hooley hit the two technical free throws with ease, he hit a three with just under six minutes left to wipe away Siena’s temporary one-point lead. The Great Danes did not relinquish the lead again, forcing Siena into poor shots down the stretch. Siena shot just 27.8% from the field in the second half.

Free throw shooting led UAlbany through the second half, with Hooley going 8-for-8 and Evans hitting 6-of-6. UAlbany went 20-for-24 from the charity stripe in the second half, while Siena shot just 5-of-10. Siena also went 0-for-16 from behind the arch in the second half.

“The change of competitiveness is what did it for us,” said Hooley. “We knew our first half wasn’t UAlbany basketball, and we just weathered that storm. In the second half we knew we would play better, and we did.”

Hooley and Rowley finished with 17 points apiece. Rowley nearly notched a double-double with nine rebounds to his credit. Evans also recorded five steals, a new individual record for UAlbany against Siena under Will Brown.

“In the end, we played the way we were capable of playing,” said head coach Will Brown. “It helps to have some older guys, and I knew their freshmen would come out and play with a ton of energy. I thought we were playing our tempo and imposing our will in the second half, we opened it up.”

The Great Danes will face NJIT in their home opener on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel from SEFCU Arena.

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