Created: 02/12/2014 11:29 PM WNYT.com
By: UAlbany Athletics & WNYT Sports
BALTIMORE, MD.- Peter Hooley and Gary Johnson scored 21 and 20 points respectively, but the University at Albany men’s basketball team (12-13, 6-6 AE) got clipped 71-69 at UMBC (9-15, 5-7 AE) on Wednesday night.
The Great Danes started off strong after UMBC scored the first basket of the game. UAlbany went on a 9-0 run fueled by four points from Johnson.
Turnovers began catching up with the Great Danes, as they committed four over the next three minutes. Hooley committed his second foul with 11:51 left and did not return for the remainder of the half. UMBC went on a 7-0 run as the Great Danes went on a five-minute scoring drought with nine minutes to go. Dallas Ennema broke the drought with a long two-point field goal to make the score 17-14.
The Retrievers took their first lead moments later. At the second media timeout of the half, UMBC had a 1-5 advantage in fouls and two turnovers to UAlbany’s eight. The Purple & Gold finished the half with 10 turnovers.
Sam Rowley took a charge at the five-minute mark to hand UMBC’s leading scorer Rodney Elliott his first personal foul. Elliott picked up his second at the end of the half.
Johnson scored six-straight points to end the half, but UMBC went on a 19-10 run to take a 37-27 lead at the break.
Foul trouble for both teams became crucial in the opening moments of the second half. UMBC’s leading scorer Rodney Elliott picked up his third foul just 18 seconds into the second half.
After Brett Roseboro committed a foul and got a technical foul, UAlbany made four free throws to narrow the lead to four. The Great Danes started the half on an 8-2 run.
Rowley converted on a lay-in from John Puk to get UAlbany within two points, but committed his fourth foul with 16:48 left.
Johnson cashed in on a tip-in with 13:13 remaining to give the Great Danes a two-point lead, their first lead since the score was 17-16 with 8:36 to go in the first half.
Puk swatted his 100th career shot with 12:11 to go, and headed to the line moments later to make one of two free throws and extend the UAlbany lead to three. The senior center had four blocks for 101 in his career.
Hooley began heating up mid-way through the second half. By the under-eight media timeout the sophomore had seven points, and scored 14 points in the closing seven minutes. He hit a three to narrow the lead to 57-56 for UMBC, and found the bottom of the net again from behind the arc with three minutes to go to tie the game at 62. Hooley took a charge on the other end to give UAlbany a chance to take the lead with 2:30 remaining.
But UMBC’s Elliott scored seven points in the final 2:12 of the game to keep UMBC neck-and-neck with UAlbany. The freshman missed a lay-up with the scored tied at 69, but Quentin Jones found the tip-in with two seconds left in regulation to earn the 71-69 win at the RAC.
Hooley scored 21 points in the second half to lead UAlbany, followed by Johnson with 20. Johnson also led the Great Danes with seven rebounds.
UAlbany looks to rebound at home this Saturday against Maine (5-19, 3-9 AE). The Coaches Cure Cystic Fibrosis game will be broadcast on ESPN3 from SEFCU Arena.