Friday, February 20, 2015

University of Albany: Career Night From Sanders Clinches Share of Regular Season Title in 70-64 Victory Over Hartford - UAlbany Sports 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. – With a career-high 19 points, Ray Sanders led University at Albany men’s basketball (19-8, 13-1 AE) to a 70-64 win against Hartford (13-14, 6-8 AE) at SEFCU Arena on Friday night. The junior added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals to his stat line, good for at least a share of the America East regular season title for the Danes. Both teams came out hot from the field, as Hartford started 4-for-6 and UAlbany went 4-for-8; but the Hawks kept the good shooting alive mid-way through the half. In a four-minute span, Hartford went 2-for-3 while the Danes managed just 1-for-5 from the field. With the pace slowing down considerably, both squads experienced scoring droughts. Each team had five turnovers by the 8:45 mark, benefiting the Hawks for an 18-11 lead and their largest of the contest. On the ensuing possession, Peter Hooley ended UAlbany’s scoring drought at four minutes with a three. After four turnovers and 20% from the field, Hooley narrowed the Hartford advantage to four, 21-14 with eight minutes to go in the first half. Hartford showed a variety of defensive looks towards the end of the half, switching between man, 2-3 zone and 1-3-1. The Danes responded by getting to the foul line, going 4-for-4 to help fuel an 8-0 run. Hooley picked off a pass at half-court and went the other way for the lay-in with three minutes on the clock, giving the Danes their first lead since the 19:02 mark. UAlbany went into the locker room with the game deadlocked at 25, its second straight game with a tie at half. Evan Singletary got in on the scoring action early in the second stanza, scoring four points in the opening 3:30. Singletary, Sanders and Mike Rowley combined to go 9-for-9 from the charity stripe in the first seven minutes of the half. By the under-16 media timeout, the Purple & Gold was 9-for-11 (.818) from the line, while the Hawks had taken just one free throw. Greig Stire became the eighth Dane to score, as he got a baseline pass from Sanders for the easy lay-in. A Hooley three followed by a traditional three-point play by Sanders put Will Brown’s squad up 11, 45-34 with 12 minutes to play. Sanders was the only UAlbany player to score over the next five minutes, as Hartford came within four, 50-46 with eight minutes to play. The junior made a momentum-changing play, as Sam Rowley nearly turned the ball over in the paint. Sanders went after the loose ball to find Dallas Ennema on the baseline for a three-pointer for a seven-point cushion. After Hartford narrowed the margin to four points again, two more traditional three-point plays from Sam Rowley and Sanders put the game out of reach for the Hawks. Sanders led all scorers with 19 points, including an 11-for-12 (.917) clip from the charity stripe. Sam Rowley finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. The senior is now four offensive rebounds away from becoming the Division I career leader in the category. Singletary (14) and Hooley (10) joined Sanders and Rowley in double figures. UAlbany went 25-for-30 (.833) from the free throw line, while Hartford went 6-for-8 (.750). With the victory, UAlbany matches its highest all-time America East regular season win total with 13. The Danes went 13-3 in both 2005-06 and 2006-07. The Purple & Gold (19-8, 13-1 AE) has a chance to clinch the America East Regular Season title outright for the first time since 2005-06 with a win at UMBC (3-23, 1-12 AE) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

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