Wednesday, February 6, 2008

UAlbany Moves into Tie for Third in A-East Standings After 80-59 Win Over New Hampshire

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Brian Lillis had 19 points and Tim Ambrose added 14 in leading UAlbany to an 80-59 victory over New Hampshire in America East Conference play on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at SEFCU Arena. The Great Danes moved into a three-way tie for third place in the conference standings.

UAlbany (11-11, AE 6-4) went 7-of-8 from the field in opening five-plus minutes to take a 15-4 lead. Ambrose hit a 12-foot bank shot and Brent Wilson made a jump hook to complete a run of seven unanswered. The Great Danes pushed out to a 24-10 advantage with freshman guard Josh Martin and Wilson buried back-to-back three-point field goals and Jimmie Covington connected on a conventional three-point play when he was fouled on a basket in the lane.

The Great Danes, who led by as much as 18 in the first half, settled for a 41-28 margin at the intermission. New Hampshire (7-15, AE 4-6) shot just 29 percent from the field in the period on 9-of-31 attempts.

In the second half, the Wildcats sliced the lead to 10 points on two occasions, including 46-36 with 15:54 left on freshman Alvin Abreu’s 3-pointer from the left wing. Abreu tallied 10 of his 13 points in the period. UAlbany pulled away with 13 of the game’s next 16 points. Brian Connelly made a baseline turnaround and scored off a high-low pass from Wilson in that outburst. Ambrose sank two foul shots before Jerel Hastings converted a fastbreak layup for a commanding 59-39 lead midway through the stanza.

“I was trying not to make mistakes and not letting the game come to me,” said Ambrose, a redshirt freshman who made 5-of-8 from the field and grabbed six rebounds in his second career start. “You have to play defense in order to get on the floor. I have been watching more film in attempt to work on my help defense and guarding the ball.”

Tyrone Conley had 17 points, including four 3-pointers, for the Wildcats, who won the first meeting between these teams by a 75-66 score on Jan. 3. Tyrece Gibbs added 16 points and eight rebounds. Lillis, a 6’5” senior, netted 14 of his scoring total in the second half and collected nine rebounds. Wilson totaled 13 points and eight boards off the bench.

“Tim Ambrose is fearless and wants to get better,” offered UAlbany coach Will Brown, whose team limited UNH to 33.9-percent shooting, the second-lowest mark by an opponent this season. “Brent (Wilson) gave us some productive minutes. He dove the floor, took charges, and maximized his time out there.”

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