MBB completes Big Purple Growl Sweep
By Aaron Williams
Feb 11, 2015
The University at Albany men’s basketball extended their winning streak to 11 games on Saturday night, defeating the UMass Lowell River Hawks 69-59 at SEFCU Arena to complete a Big Purple Growl sweep for UAlbany.
In front of a sellout crowd of 4,468, it was UMass Lowell (10-14, 4-7 America East) in control early, forcing the Danes into four turnovers on their first five possessions. After four minutes of play, the Danes were able to find the basket for the first time with a three-pointer by junior guard Evan Singletary which sparked a 9-0 UAlbany (16-7, 11-0 America East) run.
The Rowley brothers played a significant role in bringing the crowd into the game with energy and strong work on the boards. Sophomore Mike Rowley came in and had an instant impact with two huge rebounds and a strong finish at the rim within a minute of his entry into the game.
His older brother Sam had another strong performance notching 12 points and 11 rebounds. Rowley was named America East Player of the Week last week averaging 17 points, four rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
The Great Danes saw a lot of success from their guards and their three-point shooting going into the half with eight made three-pointers. At halftime, the Purple and Gold were coasting with a 40-25 lead.
UAlbany came out flat after the break missing three of their first four shots while the River Hawks only gained a point on the lead by the first timeout. However, this all changed when the River Hawks’ Chad Holley, after having a quiet four points in the first half, helped his team narrow the lead to seven with 11:12 remaining in the game.
“We start to relax and think we have the game already,” said Evan Singletary, who led all scorers in the game with 18 points, six of those 18 were scored in the game’s final four minutes and helped his team overcome the River Hawks who did not go down without a fight. The UMass Lowell coach Pat Duquette said of UAlbany, “I wasn’t sure we could win the game but we didn’t play that bad. I think Albany just hit some big shots.” When asked about Singletary, Duquette said, “He’s tremendous.”
The River Hawks were able to get the lead down to one point with two back-to-back 3 pointers by freshman Matt Harris heading into the two minute mark but UAlbany’s defense ratcheted up their play and were able to make key stops down the stretch with a clutch forced turnover with 24 seconds left to seal the game.
“I am happy that we won. I’m not happy how we won,” coach Will Brown of the Great Danes said referring to the 17 turnovers and nine missed free throws by his UAlbany team. “It’s something we have to be careful of.”
“We’re 11-0 but we’ve got to get better,” coach Brown said closing out the post-game press conference.
After traveling to Binghamton on Tuesday, UAlbany will play a non-conference game at NJIT on Friday night. Star forward Peter Hooley is expected to return to the team this week.