Albany wins 2013 America East Conference basketball tournament: Great Danes defeat Vermont, 53-49

USA TODAY Sports

Albany found itself down by 10 points just two minutes into the America East championship, but the Great Danes rallied and held on at the end, and will be dancing as a result.

The Albany Great Danes defeated the Vermont Catamounts, 53-49, on Saturday at Roy L. Patrick Gymnasium in Burlington, Vt., to win the America East Conference Tournament and earn the league's automatic bid into the Big Dance.

Jacob Iati, who did not attempt a shot during the first 38 minutes of the game, made a pair of three-pointers in the final two minutes to give Albany a four-point advantage after Vermont took its first lead of the game since the first half on Sandro Carissimo's layup with 3:04 remaining.

Vermont hung around for a while longer, cutting Albany's lead to two after the Great Danes missed several free throws in the final minute. However, Iati and John Puk, who failed to make the earlier free shots, made four free throws inside 20 seconds to seal the victory.

Albany fell into an early 10-0 hole after Clancy Rugg's layup 2:42 into the game. However, the Great Danes rallied with an 11-0 run to take a one-point lead on Peter Hooley's layup six minutes later to set the tone for the rest of the game.

Mike Black scored 14 points and Luke Devlin added 12 points and six rebounds off the bench for the Great Danes, who will make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008, when they lost to Virginia in the first round.

More in College Basketball:

Your Bracketology update

The life and death of Earl Badu

Full coverage of the ACC tournament

Full coverage of the Big East tournament

Full coverage of the Big Ten tournament

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.