Albany, N.Y. - Jamar Wilson had 15 of his 19 points in the second half to pace five players in double figures in leading UAlbany to an 81-68 America East Conference victory over New Hampshire on Saturday evening at the Recreation and Convocation Center.
UAlbany (11-10, AE 7-5) led 33-32 early in the final period, before reeling off nine unanswered points. Wilson, who reached double figures for the 20th consecutive time, canned a three-point field goal to start that run and later added two free throws. Lucious Jordan, a 6-foot-2 junior who had 18 points and seven rebounds, converted a driving layup after a steal for a 42-32 lead.
The Great Danes, who shot 52.2 percent from the field after halftime, would run off a string of eight straight points to pull away two minutes later. Levi Levine, who totaled 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists, hit a 12-footer in that outburst. Levine then set up Kirsten Zoellner with an in-bounds pass that led to slam dunk for a 50-36 advantage with 14:53 remaining.
UAlbany would eventually move out to a 20-point margin, when Levine buried a three-pointer from the left wing. The Great Danes, who made 10 of their opening 16 field goal attempts in the period, tied the program's highest single-season victory total at the Division I level. UAlbany finished 11-17 in the 1999-2000 campaign.
New Hampshire (7-14, AE 3-8) trailed 33-25 in the first half, but then scored the final five points of the stanza to get back into the contest. Ioannis Karalis converted a back-door layup and Blagoj Janev drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner.
"We did a much better job of attacking on both ends of the floor," said UAlbany coach Will Brown, whose team has won back-to-back games for the third time this season. "Our toughest opponent is ourselves sometimes. We need to gets stops and shots. When we get careless with the basketball and bounce it on the floor, then we struggle."
Freshman Mike Christensen led the Wildcats, who have dropped five of their last six starts, with 19 points. Ben Sturgill, a 6-foot-8 senior who has been playing with a wired-shut broken jaw, and Craig Walls, scored 17 and 10, respectively.
Aquawasi St. Hillaire had 13 points, one off his season-high, for the Great Danes, who played before a crowd of 4,091 fans, the largest of the year on Big Purple Growl, the University's Winter Homecoming. Freshman Brent Wilson, the fifth UAlbany player in twin figures, had 10 of his 12 points in the first half.
"The difference in the second half was our defensive focus," commented Brent Wilson, who made 5-of-8 from the floor. "We brought a lot of energy to floor with pressure defense. I know I am going to get open looks on offense and I've got to knock them down."