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Thursday, 20 March 2014 12:42

Great Danes Earn Program's First Big Dance Win

By | Sports

DAYTON, Ohio — The Great Danes have been dancing before, but Tuesday’s 71-64 win over Mount St. Mary’s marked the first time the University at Albany men’s basketball program tallied a win in the NCAA Division I tournament.

 

This is the fourth time the Great Danes have appeared in the Big Dance. The win earned the team sole possession of the No. 16 seed in the tournament and the right to continue representing the America East play No. 1 Florida Thursday in Orlando (game occurred after press time).

Senior DJ Evans dropped 22 points, shooting 8-for-13 from the field and snagging nine rebounds. Evans helped set the tone for UAlbany, which shot 57 percent from the field (27-47) in the history-making game.

Sophomore Peter Hooley added 20 points of his own for the Great Danes, while senior Gary Johnson contributed 13 points and seven rebounds.

The game of runs started when UAlbany got off to a 13-0 lead to start the game, while Mount St. Mary’s didn’t score until its 12th field goal attempt.  Evans officially scored the first basket of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, with the play-in game being the first to tip off.

But the Great Danes also gave up a responding 18-0 run by Mount St. Mary’s, who eventually tied the game with 5:26 left in the first half. Mount would go on to hit seven 3-pointers in the half and 12 in the game.

But UAlbany managed to head into halftime with a 35-31 lead over the NEC Champions at the University of Dayton Arena.

Shortly into the second half, Mount St. Mary’s made yet another run, committing zero turnovers while the Danes turned it over seven times. At one point, Mount St. Mary’s went on an 11-2 run to take a 43-39 lead.

However, Evans would not be denied. His three-point play brought the Saints within one point before giving the Danes a 45-44 lead with 13:46 left.  Shortly after, Hooley banked a three that gave UAlbany a six-point lead, 54-48, with just over nine minutes remaining.

From there, Mount St. Mary’s was able to get the margin to one-point, but was never able to regain a lead, as UAlbany used the charity stripe to close the door.

 

The Mounts Will Miller hit seven threes en route to 21 points in the loss.

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