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Albany takes on Vermont in America East title tilt

Burlington, VT (Sports Network) - The Vermont Catamounts aim for a repeat as American East Conference Tournament Champions on Saturday morning as they clash with the Albany Great Danes in the 34th annual event played at Patrick Gym.

Vermont, which defeated Stony Brook last year by a score of 51-43, has a total of five titles stemming from this event, although the squad also has a couple of defeats in the championship round versus this same Albany squad back in 2006 and 2007.

The second-seeded Catamounts began this tourney by taking down New Hampshire a week ago in a 61-42 final at SEFCU Arena and then followed it up the next day with an 85-72 triumph over UMBC in the semifinals in order to advance to the title game.

As for the fourth-seeded Great Danes, the games last weekend took place in their home building, yet the squad still struggled with a 50-49 victory versus Maine in the quarterfinals on Saturday and then a 61-59 decision against Stony Brook the following night.

Albany, which has a mark of 3-1 all-time against the Catamounts in the postseason, has not been back to the championship game since taking down Vermont in a 60-59 thriller six years ago.

Vermont took both meetings during the regular season against the Great Danes, first posting a 70-45 win in Burlington just days into the new calendar year and then delivering a 50-43 victory three weeks later in New York. With the sweep the Catamounts now own a 25-8 advantage all-time in the series.

Scoring 64.8 ppg this season, the Danes are led on offense by Mike Black with his 15.0 ppg. Black accounts for 82 assists as well which is second-best on the unit behind only Peter Hooley (7.8 ppg) who has delivered 93 dishes even though he has started just 11 of the 31 games in which he has appeared. Jacob Iati accounts for another 12.2 ppg, primarily based on his 87-of-215 (.405) shooting behind the 3-point line, along with his 84.3 percent accuracy at the charity stripe. Because of players like Iati, Albany managed to outscore the opposition by a collective 176 points at the free-throw line through 33 contests.

The Catamounts do a fine job in limiting the production of opponents, having held teams to just 58.8 ppg this season on 40.2 percent shooting from the floor. From an offensive standpoint, Vermont focuses heavily on a seven-man rotation that features Clancy Rugg who leads the program with 11.4 ppg, even through he has started slightly more than half the team's 31 contests in 2012-13. Rugg, a regular at the free-throw line where he has made good on 71.4 percent, is also first on the glass with 5.7 rpg as the team beats opponents in rebounding (+4.1 rpg). Luke Apfeld is responsible for another 10.8 ppg, followed by Sandro Carissimo with 9.9 ppg for a group that has outscored the competition by a combined 179 points at the free-throw line.

03/16 10:51:03 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CLE 6
TOR 4
Final
DET 2
ANA 1
Final
NYM 4
ATL 3
Final
MIA 3
SEA 2
Final
PIT 2
MIL 3
Final
WAS 3
STL 2
Final
TAM 1
NYY 5
Final
KAN 3
MIN 8
Final
CHC 2
CIN 8
Final
TEX 2
CWS 16
Final
OAK 4
HOU 1
Final
LOS 4
ARI 1
Final
COL 9
PHI 10
Final
SDP 3
SFG 4
Final
BOS 6
BAL 5
11:05am Today
BOS
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
TEX
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
SAN 90
DAL 85
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
Final
CHI 93
WAS 102
Final
HOU 120
POR 122
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
GSW
Final
NYR 2
PHI 4
Final
BOS 4
DET 1
Final
MON 3
TAM 2
Final
SJS 7
LOS 2
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
COL
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
9:30pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR