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Evans scores 22, hits clutch FTs to lift Albany

Evans scores 22, hits clutch FTs to lift Albany

MARCH MADNESS: Albany guard Peter Hooley, center, celebrates with guard D.J. Evans, left, and forward Gary Johnson after Albany defeated Mount St. Mary's 71-64 in a first-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament, Tuesday, March 18, in Dayton, Ohio. Photo: Associated Press/Skip Peterson

RUSTY MILLER, AP Sports Writer

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — D.J. Evans scored 22 points, including two clinching free throws with 12.6 seconds left, to lead Albany to its first NCAA tournament victory, 71-64 over Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday night in the First Four.

The Great Danes (19-14) advance to meet overall No. 1 seed and top-ranked Florida on Thursday in Orlando.

It was a wild game of incredible turnarounds, with the Great Danes bolting to leads of 13-0 and 21-2, only to have The Mount (16-17) bounce back with a 21-2 run of its own to pull even.

Peter Hooley had 20 points and Gary Johnson 13 for Albany, winless in its three previous NCAA trips.

Will Miller led The Mount with 21, all on 3s.

XAVIER FALLS IN FIRST FOUR

North Carolina State led most of the way in a 74-59 victory over Xavier in the NCAA tournament’s First Four in Dayton, Ohio last night.

T.J. Warren scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half for N.C. State.

Center Matt Stainbrook led Xavier with 19 points and nine rebounds despite an injured left knee.

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