top of page

Men’s Basketball Bested By No. 1 Vermont in First Round of AE Tournament

By Vince Gasparini | March 11, 2024

In a tightly contested game that saw eight lead changes, the University at Albany men’s basketball team saw their season come to an end with a 75-72 loss against first place University of Vermont (UVM) in the first round of the America East Tournament.

The Great Danes standing in a huddle during their home game against Maine on March 2.

Photo Credit: Savanna Stoddart / The ASP

“This is probably my least favorite part of the job,” UAlbany head coach Dwayne Killings began at the post-game press conference. “The end of the journey.”

In the final seconds of the game, Ny’Mire Little was sent to the free throw line with UAlbany down 73-70. After making the first shot and slimming the lead to 73-71, Little attempted to intentionally miss his second shot in hopes of getting the rebound and putting it back up to tie the game. However, Little’s attempt went in. The Great Danes fouled immediately after the Catamounts inbounded, and Vermont’s TJ Long made two free throws to extend their lead back to three. The Great Danes inbounded the ball to Sebastian Thomas, whose nearly full-court shot fell short, sealing the win for Vermont.

“When he released it out of his hand, I thought it was on target,” Killings said of Thomas’ last-second shot. “But it was short, and that’s the way our year ended.”

The first half of the match saw the Great Danes take a 37-31 lead, shooting 14-28 from the field to the Catamounts’ 10-26. After the break, UVM clawed their way back into contention, outscoring UAlbany 44-35 on 14-29 shooting, with a 13-19 mark from the free throw line. Through the game, the Catamounts went 23-32 from the charity stripe, while the Great Danes put up a perfect mark of 10-10.

UAlbany shot 46.6% from the field, while Vermont put up a slightly worse mark of 43.6%. The Catamounts scored 14 points off of the Great Danes’ 11 turnovers, and recorded just seven turnovers of their own.

Thomas finished the game with a team-leading 31 points. Muneer Newton scored 10 points and led the team in rebounds with nine, and Amar’e Marshall scored 13 points and led in assists with six. UVM’s TJ Long led the Catamounts in scoring with 20 points.

“[We] came in here to win a game against one of the best mid-major programs in the country, [and] one of the best college basketball coaches in the country,” Killings said. The Catamounts sit at an overall record of 26-6, and a conference record of 14-1, and are first in the America East in points allowed per game with 63.2. “We just couldn’t get it done at the end.”

“It obviously sucks to lead a team like that the whole game and in the last two minutes it goes the other way,” Marshall said. “But I’m proud of this team, and we definitely came a long way from the beginning of this season.”

Killings, while admitting that his team has things to work on, believes that they gave it their all against the Catamounts. “There’s some things that we need to address,” Killings said. “But I think the biggest thing about our group is there was no quit.”

“There was a bunch of ups and downs,” Thomas said when reflecting on his first season with the Great Danes after transferring from the University of Rhode Island last offseason. “I think since I’ve got here I’ve become a better person, better basketball player, better teammate, better friend, all that. I’ve enjoyed my experience here my first year.”

“We’ve just gotta hit the offseason hard and be ready for the next time we are in this position,” Amar’e Marshall said. “[We’ll] just come even harder.”

UAlbany finished their season with a 13-19 overall record, and a 5-11 record in America East play.


bottom of page