Resilient Albany Great Danes seek another NCAA bid

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Albany coach Will Brown will be the first to tell you he didn’t see it coming.

Neither did anyone else.

Despite being the reigning regular-season and tournament champions of the America East Conference, Albany was picked to finish third in the preseason. When you lose three starters and welcome nine newcomers, expectations tend to diminish.

The Great Danes responded with a school-record 12-game winning streak, staying unbeaten even after leading scorer Peter Hooley returned to his native Australia for three weeks to be with his dying mother.

Hooley is back and contributing again. Albany (22-8), which finished 15-1 in the conference, defeated Maine 83-66 in the America East quarterfinals on Wednesday night and will host New Hampshire on Sunday in the semis.