ALBANY, N.Y. – For the sixth consecutive season, the University at Albany will play in the America East finals, having won each of the last five. The Great Danes will host the tournament final for the fifth consecutive year, and will play Maine for the second consecutive.
UAlbany defeated tournament #7 Vermont and #6 Hartford in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. Maine, who earned the #4 seed in the tournament, defeated #5 Binghamton in the quarterfinals and then upset #1 New Hampshire in the semifinals.
The Great Danes split with the Black Bears during the regular season. In the first meeting, in Maine, the Black Bears won 84-71, after UAlbany held an 11 point lead at halftime. Maine outscored UAlbany 52-28 in the second half. Senior Imani Tate scored 32 points in the loss.
The second matchup came in UAlbany’s last home game of the regular season, when the Danes celebrated their senior day. The Danes jumped out to an eight point lead after the first quarter, and led by nine at halftime. Maine outscored UAlbany by five in the second half, but the Great Danes held on to win 64-60.
Last year, UAlbany and Maine split their two regular season matches as they did this year. In the America East final, UAlbany defeated Maine 59-58 for the team’s record fifth-straight conference title.
Against Vermont in the quarterfinals, the Catamounts held a three point lead after the Great Danes managed only seven points in the first quarter. UAlbany stormed back to outscore Vermont by nine in the second quarter, and then by 13 in the third. UAlbany ultimately won on 65-45.
The team started much faster against Hartford in the semifinals. The Hawks had dismantled tournament #3 UMBC in the quarterfinal round, 75-40. Playing UAlbany, however, Hartford fell behind by 10 in the first quarter. The Hawks clawed their way back to tie the game late in the fourth, and had a shot to win the game as time expired. The Great Dane defense forced Hartford into an off-balance, desperation three that missed long, giving UAlbany a 67-65 win.
UAlbany has now won 16 consecutive America East tournament games, overtaking the previous record of 14 straight held by Maine 1995-1999. Their sixth straight appearance in the finals ties Maines run from 1995-2000 for most in America East history.
Friday's game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
AMERICA EAST FINAL: #4 MAINE (18-15, 9-7 AE) | FRIDAY, MAR. 10, 4:30 P.M. | ALBANY, N.Y.
Last we met: W, 64-61, February 18, 2017, Albany, N.Y. Tale of the Tape:
UAlbany is 12-1 at home this season
Maine is 3-12 on the road
UAlbany has won four of the last six against Maine
UAlbany is 5-0 in America East title games
Maine is 3-3 in America East title games, last winning in the 2003-04 season
Maine is 7-9 in conference title games dating back to the North Atlantic Conference
UAlbany is 8-0 in the tournament and has won two titles as a two-seed
The Great Danes lead the America East in assits (15.5 apg) and field goal percentage (.418)
Imani Tate leads the America East in scoring (19.1 ppg)
Series History: Maine leads 19-17 2015-16 Record: 26-9 (15-1 AE); t-1st America East, America East finalist, WNIT First Round Top Offensive Player: Sigi Koizar, Sr., G, (13.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.9 apg)