Previous Page 2 of 1 Next

Continued: Albany headed to NCAA tournament for first time since 2007

  • Article by: ANDY GARDINER
  • Last update: March 16, 2013 - 10:18 PM

In two regular-season losses to the Catamounts, the senior was a combined 1-for-17 shooting and 0 for 11 from 3-point range. That changed Saturday when Iati hit two 3-pointers in the closing minutes to lift the Great Danes to a 53-49 victory and into the NCAA field for the first time since 2007.

"Finally, after what felt like 100 attempts, we were able to get Jacob free for a couple of shots," Albany coach Will Brown said. "He's a gutsy performer and he knocked them down."

Iati took only two shots all game. The first was a 3-pointer from the right wing that gave fourth-seeded Albany a 46-45 lead with 2:36 left. After a Vermont turnover, Iati nailed another long shot that provided the Great Danes enough cushion to deny No. 2 seed Vermont its sixth NCAA berth in 11 years.

"We did a great job on him all night but for whatever reason we walked away from him twice," Vermont coach John Becker said. "In championship games, somebody makes plays and for them Iati made the two plays they needed."

Albany (24-10) suffered its most-lopsided defeat of the season and was held to its two lowest offensive efforts in 70-45 and 50-43 losses to Vermont (21-11) in the regular season. But in front of a sellout crowd of 3,245 at Patrick Gym, the Great Danes snapped an eight-game losing streak to Vermont and ran their record to 3-0 against the Catamounts in America East title games. Two of those victories have come in Burlington.

Albany became the first team seeded lower than third to win the title and set a school season record for victories. The Great Danes won three conference tournament games by a total of seven points and beat the top two seeds.

"We beat a very good basketball team in a hostile environment," Brown said. "I've got a lot of respect for Vermont. They've been a model of consistency in this league for several years. I told our guys all week that there is no pressure on us. All the pressure is on Vermont. They're supposed to win, especially in their building."

Senior guard Mike Black, the tournament's most outstanding player, led Albany with 14 points, while Luke Devlin came off the bench to add 12 on 6-for-6 shooting. But it is Iati, who followed his older brother, John, to Albany, who will be in the spotlight as the team prepares for the NCAA tournament.

"I was just looking for an opportunity because I don't care that much about scoring," said Iati, who averaged 12.2 points this season. "But if I get an open shot, I'm going to take it. They were both good looks. I'm just happy they went in."

Vermont jumped to a 10-0 lead before Albany's defense limited the Cats to four baskets the rest of the half. By the break, the Great Danes had grabbed a 28-20 lead. Albany's pressure on the ball forced 11 Vermont turnovers that led to 13 points.

The Great Danes finished with 18 points on Catamount giveaways. That helped Albany cover up a 20-2 deficit in second-chance points that was tied to Vermont's 37-21 rebounding edge (16-3 at the offensive end).

"We were aggressive, I thought we were physical," Brown said. "I told our guys the only way we wouldn't win this game is if we had turnover issues today. We had nine turnovers. Mission accomplished."

Vermont, which also trailed at the half in its two previous conference playoff wins, put together another surge to start the second half. Three-point plays from Ethan O'Day and Luke Apfeld pulled Vermont to 28-26 before Albany made its first basket, more than 5 minutes into the half.

Taking better care of the basketball and picking up its defensive intensity allowed Vermont guard Sandro Carissimo got on a six-point run that gave Vermont its first lead since 10-9 when he scored on a drive to make it 45-43. That set the stage for Iati's heroics.

"I really thought we had the momentum but credit Iati for making two big shots," Carissimo said.

There was still drama left for the final minute. Iati hit both ends of a 1-and-1 foul situation to give Albany a 51-47 lead with 20 seconds left. Vermont's Trey Blue scored on a drive and was fouled to pull the Cats within a basket with 15 seconds to go. But Blue missed the free throw and Albany's John Puk, who missed three free throws in the final 1:01, then hit both halves of a 1-and-1 to finish the scoring.

"They played better than us today and they deserved to win," said Becker, who was attempting to become the first league coach to win the conference title both times in his first two seasons. "For us, just a tough day with too many turnovers.

Vermont was 1 for 14 from 3-point distance and hit only 6 of 11 free throws. Clancy Rugg and Blue led Vermont with 10 points each, and Brian Voelkel had 10 rebounds.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Guthrie 2
New Orleans 7:25 PM
Carolina
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Milwaukee 106 FINAL
Charlotte 108
Philadelphia 91 FINAL
Indiana 103
Atlanta 102 FINAL
Toronto 109
Brooklyn 105 FINAL
Boston 121
Washington 95 FINAL
Miami 107
Chicago 104 FINAL
New York 80
Minnesota 101 FINAL
Memphis 105
Detroit 79 FINAL
Denver 89
Houston 104 FINAL
Utah 93
Golden State 95 FINAL
Sacramento 77
LA Lakers 99 FINAL
Phoenix 119
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Portland 106
Detroit 4 FINAL
Washington 2
Nashville 4 FINAL
Edmonton 1
(2) Florida State 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
Vancouver FC 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who wins and loses in football this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close