Albany wins 2014 America East Conference basketball tournament

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Great Danes are heading to the Big Dance for the second straight year, beating Stony Brook, 69-60, to win the America East tournament.

The Albany, N.Y. Great Danes dashed the Stony Brook Seawolves' tournament dreams once again, riding a 69-60 win to the America East tournament title and punching their ticket to the Big Dance. It's Albany's fourth tournament appearance in school history and their second year in a row. It's also their second straight America East title, while Stony Brook is still looking for their first NCAA Tournament appearance.

The party is on.

The two teams went back-and-forth in a first half that featured six lead changes. Stony Brook took control early with a 9-0 run to start the game, but Albany answered back with 10 straight points of their and held a slim lead for most of the half. The Great Danes went into halftime leading, 34-31.

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Points were harder to come by in the second half, with neither team making a field goal until the 16:44 mark. Stony Brook started to pull away with a 9-4 start, but Albany used an 8-0 run to get back into it. The Great Danes were haunted by foul trouble, as Sam Rowley fouled out with seven minutes to go. He finished the game with 18 points and five rebounds. Despite losing their top scorer, Albany racked up a 12-2 run to take a four-point lead with less than two minutes remaining. It proved to be enough, while the Seawolves failed to score a field goal in over five minutes. Stony Brook's cold shooting hand was their downfall, making just 2-of-14 three pointers.

Peter Hooley stepped up big in Rowley's absence, scoring five straight points down the stretch to seal the win for Albany. He finished with 15 points and five rebounds. Carson Puriefoy led Stony Brook with 13 points.

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