Great Danes take 2021 Big Purple Growl in thrilling fashion

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The University at Albany men’s basketball team won the 2021 Big Purple Growl in thrilling fashion, taking down Columbia 60-59. Down one, De’Vondre Perry went to the free-throw line with three seconds on the clock. He sank both to put the Great Danes in the lead in front of a roaring crowd at SEFCU Arena, sealing the win.
 
Key Stat Lines

  • After shooting 50.0% in the first half, UAlbany finished shooting 38.3% (23-60) for the game, going 6-19 from three. Columbia Shot 37.3% (22-59) and went 6-14 from three.
  • UAlbany won the rebounding battle, 43-35.
  • De’Vondre Perry led the Great Danes with 17 points in 34 minutes of action. He shot 7-15 from the field, also leading the team with seven rebounds while collecting three blocks and two steals.
  • Matt Cerruti went 2-4 from beyond the arc, finishing with eight points in total with five rebounds, one block, and one steal.
  • Jamel Horton led with six assists, followed by Chuck Champion with four. Champion saw a season-high 17 minutes of action in the win, notching seven points.

Head Coach Dwayne Killings“We found a way to close it out. I’m really proud of our guys. I thought we spent the last two or three days really working on our offense, and it clicked in the first half. I think after that we got tight, and it showed a bit… It’s a great win for us, it’s a great night. I thought the crowd was great, especially towards the end. The energy and the loudness in the gym were terrific for us. That’s where we are trying to go – we want to make this an everyday thing, not just a Big Purple Growl thing.”

How it Happened:

  • UAlbany came out of the gates hot. Jarvis Doles opened up the scoring with a three-pointer, beginning a 12-0 run before Columbia was forced to call timeout at the 16:25 mark.
  • By the 12-minute mark, UAlbany had established a 20-7 lead over the Lions. At that point, UAlbany was 9-15 from the field and 2-3 from deep. Six different Great Danes had collected points.
  • After Columbia scored five-straight coming out of their first timeout, UAlbany went on another run. This time the Great Danes forced the Lions to call timeout again at the nine-minute mark after outscoring them 16-2.
  • Columbia outscored UAlbany 28-12 to close out the second half, cutting what once was a 21-point UAlbany lead to just five at the half.
  • UAlbany shot an outstanding 50.0% (15-30) in the first half, sinking 5-9 from deep. Columbia shot an impressive 38.9% (14-36), sinking 4-8 from beyond the arc.
  • Both teams started the second half shooting 3-7 from the field for seven points each by the first media timeout.
  • Columbia tied the game at 47-47 at the 13:30 mark of the second half, the first tie since the beginning of the game. Their first lead of the game came moments later on a free-throw.
  • After falling behind 48-47, UAlbany shot back out to a 53-49 lead by the midway point.
  • Aaron Reddish was ejected from the game at the 9:22 mark after being called for a flagrant foul.
  • By the six-minute mark both teams were shooting at a clip of 35%, with Columbia having 19-18 edge scoring. UAlbany held a 58-54 advantage on the scoreboard.
  • Columbia took the lead on a free throw De La Rosa with 27 seconds remaining in the game.
  • After a layup from Doles at the 7:42 mark, UAlbany didn’t make another bucket until Perry sank a free throw with 3.6 seconds remaining.
  • Perry would end up sinking both free throws at that mark to put UAlbany up one, The Great Danes were able to hold on as Columbia had one final attempt that would wind up unsuccessful.

Next: The Great Danes have a short turnaround as the team travels to play Boston College Monday night at 8:00 p.m. 

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