Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Iati Leads UAlbany Men's Basketball Over Central Connecticut In Overtime 63-60

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

New Britain, Conn. -- Senior guard Jon Iati scored 15 points, including a key three-point field goal in overtime, to lift UAlbany to a 63-60 victory over Central Connecticut State on Wednesday evening at Detrick Gymnasium. #Central Connecticut State (0-2) rallied from a 56-51 deficit over the final four minutes. Shemik Thompson, who had 12 points, cut into the lead with a 3-pointer. Following a couple of offensive rebounds, Tristan Blackwood knifed through the lane to hit a one-hander with 16.5 seconds remaining that tied the game at 58-all.

In the extra period, the Blue Devils took a 60-59 lead on Tamir Johnson's free throw. But UAlbany (1-1) responded on its next possession when Brian Lillis converted a layup off a pass from the left wing by Brent Wilson. Iati, who made 5-of-11 from the field, then drilled a three-pointer from the top of the arc with 2::08 to play. Blackwood could only get off a one-handed heave from the right side over the final 10 seconds in an effort to force another overtime.

Tim Ambrose had eight of his 11 points in the first half, as his team held the defending Northeast Conference champions to 41.8-percent shooting. Wilson finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. CCSU's Blackwood and David Simmons had 12 and 10 points, respectively. The Blue Devils had their 11-game home winning streak halted.

"We will not get any style points. They made life very difficult for us, and we struggled with their pressure,” said UAlbany head coach Will Brown. “Central (Connecticut) had all the momentum heading into overtime. They didn't get the same looks that they did late in the second half."

The Great Danes trailed by five early in the opening stanza but came back to tie the contest at 12 apiece. Brent Wilson converted a four-point play to draw his team even when he was fouled on a three-point shot from the left corner. Central Connecticut State later regained the lead as Marcus Palmer canned a 3-point field goal on the left baseline for a 24-22 advantage.

With the game tied at 26, UAlbany ran off eight unanswered points to take a halftime lead. Freshman Al Turley scored in the lane on a high-low exchange from Brian Connelly to ignite the run. Tim Ambrose, who was making his first appearance of the season, added six straight, including an offensive rebound basket with 24 seconds left in the period.

"We were in the same situation against Bucknell and we wanted to change that,” said Iati, who played 35 minutes off the bench. “We wanted to learn from our mistakes. It's a win on the road despite not playing to our potential. Our defense was good. They were forced into tough shots, but we didn't always get the rebound."

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