ALBANY, N.Y. – Jordan Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) tallied 14 points and Tommy McDonnell (Durham, N.H.) pulled down eight rebounds, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team fell 66-48 to the University at Albany at SEFCU Arena on Thursday night.
Sam Rowley scored a game-high 19 points to pace the Great Danes. Rowley went 7 of 10 from the field and hit all five of his free throws. Gary Johnson (15 points), DJ Evans (13 points), and Peter Hooley (12 points) also scored in double-figures for Albany, which improves to 15-13 overall and 9-6 in America East Conference play.
Bronner scored nine of his team-leading 14 points in the second half. Senior Chris Pelcher (Albany, N.Y.) and freshman Daniel Dion (Cedar Park, Texas) added eight points each for the Wildcats, who fall to 6-22 overall and 4-11 in the America East Conference.
The Wildcats got off to a hot start, using a 5-0 run to open the game. Frank Okeke (DeSoto, Texas) drained a 3-pointer from the left corner to give UNH a 3-0 lead before Pelcher scored a layup to make it 5-0. Albany responded with a 9-0 run over the next five minutes to take a 9-5 advantage.
Trailing 12-7 with 12:36 left in the half, the Wildcats used another 5-0 run to knot the score at 12-12. Williams Gabriel (Lagos, Nigeria) got it started when he hit a layup off a feed from Okeke. McDonnell capped the run when he drained a 3-ball from the left corner to make it 12-12 with 10:48 remaining.
Albany answered right back with an 8-0 run to take a 20-12 lead. The teams would go back and forth over the next two minutes.
With the Great Danes leading 27-18, UNH fought its way back with a 7-0 run. Bronner hit a straightaway 3-ball to start it up for the Wildcats. Jacoby Armstrong (Sachse, Texas) followed with a free throw before Dion nailed a 3 from the right corner to bring UNH within two points, 27-25.
The Great Danes scored three more points before the half to take a 30-25 advantage into the break.
Sam Rowley led the way for Albany in the first half, scoring nine points on 3 of 4 shooting. Gary Johnson chipped in with seven points for the Great Danes, who shot 47.6% (10-for-21) in the first half.
Armstrong and Bronner paced the UNH offense in the opening frame, hitting for five points apiece. Pelcher added four for the Wildcats, who shot a 39.1% (9-for-23) clip in the first.
The beginning of the second half saw a very evenly matched game, with both teams trading baskets for the opening five minutes. Leading 36-34 with 14:15 remaining in the game, Albany used a 7-2 run to extend its lead to 43-36 with 10:45 left.
The Wildcats answered right back with its own 7-2 swing to cut the Great Danes' lead to 45-43. Bronner opened it for UNH with a pair of free throws before Pelcher added two freebies of his own to bring the Wildcats within five. Bronner cut that lead to two points 20 seconds later when he drilled his second 3-pointer of the game to make it a 45-43 Albany lead with 8:40 remaining.
The Great Danes seized control from that point forward, closing out the contest on a 21-5 run to secure a 66-48 victory.
Albany outshot the Wildcats, hitting on 43.8% (21-for-48). The Great Danes also shot very well from the free-throw line, netting 21 of 25 free throws. UNH shot well,40.0% (16-for-40) from the floor, but were hampered by turnovers (17) throughout the game.
The Wildcats return to action on Sunday at 2 p.m. when they travel to take on the University of Maine for both teams' season-finales. For the latest news and information on UNH men's basketball, tune in to www.unhwildcats.com