NCAA Game Summary - Albany at Vermont|
(Saturday, March 16th)
Final Score: Albany 53, Vermont 49
Burlington, VT (Sports Network) - Jacob Iati didn't take a shot until the
final few minutes, then hit a pair of 3-pointers to help Albany capture the
America East championship.
Iati's first three gave the Great Danes the lead for good with 2:36 remaining
and his second on the next trip provided some separation, as Albany finished
off a 53-49 victory over Vermont on the Catamounts' home court to earn their
third NCAA Tournament bid.
Albany (24-10), which knocked off top-seeded Stony Brook last Sunday in the
semifinals, won the AEC crown in 2006 and 2007, beating Vermont each time. The
Catamounts (21-11) were denied a second straight America East title and sixth
Iati finished with eight points, adding a pair of clutch free throws in the
final minute. Mike Black scored 14 points and Luke Devlin added 12 for the
Trey Blue and Clancy Rugg each scored 10 for Vermont.
Albany led throughout the second half until a drive by Sandro Carissimo gave
Vermont a 45-43 edge with 2:58 remaining.
Iati then found some room along the right wing and drilled a three to put the
Great Danes back on top. After a Vermont turnover, Iati connected again from
nearly the same spot to make it 49-45 with 1:35 left.
Albany had a chance to seal it at the stripe, but John Puk twice missed the
front end of 1-and-1s. After the second miss, a putback by Luke Apfeld pulled
Vermont within two with 25.9 seconds to play.
Iati was fouled after the inbound pass and drained two from the line for a
four-point margin. Blue drove for a basket and was fouled, but missed the free
throw to keep it a two-point game with 15 seconds remaining and Puk was able
to convert both ends of a 1-and-1 to seal it.
Vermont came out on fire and scored the first 10 points, but Albany quickly
shook off the rust and answered with 11 in a row. Rugg countered with four
straight to put the Catamounts back on top, but the Great Danes responded with
the next 10.
Black's layup in transition put Albany ahead for good and Devlin's layup with
5:10 left in the half gave the Great Danes a 21-14 cushion. Albany led by as
many as 10 in the final minute before Apfeld's dunk sent Vermont to the break
Iati was a combined 0-for-11 from 3-point range in the first two meetings this
season against Vermont ... Carissimo and Apfeld each scored seven in defeat
... The Catamounts swept the regular-season series, posting a 70-45 in
Burlington and a 50-43 triumph in Albany ... As the fourth seed, Albany became
the lowest-seeded team to win the AEC tourney title ... The Great Danes
improved to 3-0 in AEC title games, while the Catamounts fell to 5-4.
03/16 14:11:22 ET