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UAlbany vs. Vermont: Cats take bite out of Danes

UAlbany vs. Vermont: Cats take bite out of Danes

There was very little bark and even less bite for the University at Albany in Saturday night’s annua
UAlbany vs. Vermont: Cats take bite out of Danes
UAlbany's Luke Devlin, goes after the ball under the net with Vermont's Sandro Carissimo at SEFCU Arena in Albany Saturday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

There was very little bark and even less bite for the University at Albany in Saturday night’s annual Big Purple Growl matchup with Vermont.

The Catamounts, who crushed the Great Danes, 68-38, in their first meeting earlier this month at Patrick Gym, held UAlbany to just 12 first-half points en route to a 55-45 victory before a sellout crowd of 4,538 at SEFCU Arena.

The Great Danes shot only 19.2 percent in the first half and 32.7 percent overall. They also made just seven of 12 free throws and were outrebounded, 38-33.

“They’re the best team in the league,” praised UAlbany head coach Will Brown of the Catamounts, who improved to 8-1 in the America East Conference and 14-9 overall. “They have five seniors in their lineup. They took their time on offense, and they seemed more than comfortable making us defend for 28 or 29 seconds.

“You’ve got to give them credit,” Brown said. “Their team defense and their willingness to share the ball are very good. They are a very good team. We’ve played them twice already, and they are definitely the best we’ve played. The best team won tonight.”

Sandro Carissimo scored 17 points, Candon Rusin registered 16 and Brian Voelkel added 10 rebounds and eight assists for Vermont.

“We played good defense, and they [the Great Danes] did, too,” said Vermont head coach John Becker. “Our defense is really, really good. I thought we rode our seniors a lot. Our experience helped us down the stretch.”

“There’s much to say positive about our offense,” said UAlbany senior guard Peter Hooley, who led the Great Danes with 11 points. “Our defense was pretty good, but when your shots aren’t falling, you have to play even better defensively. We had some good looks. But when you score 12 points in a half, there is not much to cheer about.”

Senior swingman Gary Johnson, who finished with 10 points and six rebounds, tried to take some positives from the game, but he admitted that the Great Danes were frustrated with their performance on the offensive end.

“We wanted this one really bad,” he said. “We lost tonight, but we made progress. We played the best two teams in the conference, and we competed. I know we only made 19 percent of our shots in the first half. I think it was partly us taking bad shots. But Vermont played well. They played typical Vermont basketball. It was definitely frustrating, because we all wanted to win so badly.”

The Catamounts led by as much as 16 (45-29) with 4:48 left on a Carissimo three-pointer.


Voelkel 1-3 3-4 5, Carissimo 5-12 4-4 17, Rusin 6-9 3-4 16, Rugg 2-6 3-4 7, O’Day 1-2 0-0 2, Apfeld 1-3 1-2 3, Harold 0-5 0-0 0, Elbaum 0-0 0-0 0, Steidl 2-6 0-0 5. Totals: 18-46 14-18 55.


S. Rowley 2-8 0-0 4, Johnson 3-7 4-5 10, Puk 3-6 0-0 6, Evans 2-10 0-0 5, Hooley 5-15 1-1 11, M. Rowley 1-2 0-1 2, Devlin 1-3 0-2 2, Egharevba 0-1 2-2 2, Ennema 1-3 0-1 3. Totals: 18-55 7-12 45.

Halftime: Vermont, 21-12. Three-point goals: Vermont 5-16 (Voelkel 0-1, Carissimo 3-7, Rusin 1-3, Apfeld 0-2, Harold 0-1, Steidl 1-2); UAlbany 2-15 (Evans 1-6, Hooley 0-5, M. Rowley 0-1, Egharvba 0-1, Ennema 1-2). Rebounds: Vermont 38 (Voelkel 10), UAlbany 33 (S. Rowley 7). Assists: Vermont 15 (Voelkel 8), UAlbany 13 (Hooley 4). Total fouls: Vermont 19, UAlbany 18. Fouled out: S. Rowley. Attendance: 4,538 (sellout).

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