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Albany 53, Vermont 49

The SportsXchange

Albany rallied from an early deficit and held off Vermont late for a 53-49 win Saturday to capture the America East tournament title and a berth in the NCAA tournament.

The fourth-seeded Great Danes (24-10), who made 49 percent from the field (20 of 41), were led by Mike Black's 14 points and Luke Devlin's 12. The second-seeded Catamounts (21-11), playing at home, shot 40 percent from the field (21 of 52) and were led by Clancy Rugg and Trey Blue, each scoring 10 points.

The Catamounts raced out to a 10-0 lead to start the game, but the Great Danes scored 11 straight points to get back into the game and by halftime had taken a 28-20 lead.

In the second half, the Catamounts continued to trail, but tied the game twice with under five minutes left. However, Jacob Iati's 3-pointer put the Great Danes ahead for good.

A Luke Apfeld jumper cut the lead again to two at 49-47 with 26 seconds left, but two free throws from John Puk gave the Great Danes a four-point lead, and two missed shots from the Catamounts ended any hopes of winning.

Vermont had swept the season-series between the two teams.

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