Great Danes take 2021 Big Purple Growl in thrilling fashion

Albany, NY (NEWS10) – The University of Albany men’s basketball team won the 2021 Big Purple Growl electrifyingly, beating Columbia 60-59. Down one, De’Vondre Perry went to the free throw line with three seconds on the clock. He sank both of them to get the Great Danes in the lead in front of a roaring crowd at the SEFCU Arena, sealing the win.

Key statistical lines

  • After shooting 50.0% in the first half, UAlbany closed the shot 38.3% (23-60) for the match, going 6-19 from three. Columbia shot 37.3% (22-59) and went 6-14 of three.
  • UAlbany won the rebound 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 as he collected three blocks and two steals.
  • Matt Cerruti went 2-4 from over the arc, finishing with eight points in total with five rebounds, a block and a steal.
  • Jamel Horton driven with six assists, followed by Champion Chuck with four. Champion saw a season record of 17 minutes of action in the win, scoring seven points.

Head coach Dwayne Killings: “We have found a way to close it. I am really proud of our boys. I thought we had spent the last two or three days really working on our attack, and in the first half it worked. I think after that we tightened up, and it showed a little bit … It’s a big win for us, it’s a big night. I thought the audience was great, especially towards the end. The energy and volume in the gym was great for us. That’s where we’re trying to go – we want to make it an everyday thing, not just a Big Purple Growl thing.

How did it happen:

  • UAlbany came out of the gates hot. Jarvis Doles opened the scoring with a triple, starting a 12-0 run before Columbia was forced to call the timeout at 16:25.
  • After 12 minutes, UAlbany had established a 20-7 lead over the Lions. At that point, UAlbany was 9-15 from the field and 2-3 from the back. Six different Great Danes had collected points.
  • After Columbia hit five straight exits from their first timeout, UAlbany started another run. This time around the Great Danes forced the Lions to call the timeout again at minute nine after beating them 16-2.
  • Columbia beat UAlbany 28-12 to close the second half, cutting what was once UAlbany’s 21-point lead to just five at half.
  • UAlbany shot an outstanding 50.0% (15-30) in the first half, sinking 5-9 from the depth. Columbia shot an impressive 38.9% (14-36), sinking 4-8 from over the arc.
  • Both teams started the second half by shooting 3-7 from the field for seven points each at the first media timeout.
  • Columbia drew the game 47-47 at 13:30 of the second half, the first draw since the start of the game. The first advantage of the match came moments later on a free throw.
  • After falling behind 48-47, UAlbany returned the lead 53-49 halfway through.
  • Aaron Reddish was ejected from the game at 9:22 after being called for a flagrant foul.
  • Within six minutes both teams were shooting to a 35% clip, with Columbia scoring 19-18. UAlbany had a 58-54 lead on the scoreboard.
  • Columbia took the lead on a free throw from De La Rosa with 27 seconds left in the game.
  • After a Doles layup at 7:42, UAlbany didn’t make another bucket until Perry sank a free throw with 3.6 seconds left.
  • Perry would have ended up sinking both free throws at that mark to put UAlbany on one, the Great Danes were able to hold on as Columbia had one last attempt that would have failed.

Next: The Great Danes have a brief turnaround as the team goes to play at Boston College Monday night at 8pm

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