DURHAM, N.C. — Duke gave Albany every chance to pull the first huge upset of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

And then Rebecca Greenwell snatched victory right back.

Greenwell hit a 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds left that lifted the Blue Devils past Albany 54-52 on Friday in the first round of the Spokane Regional.

Albany earned its berth in the NCAA Tournament by winning the America East tourney after sharing the regular-season title with the University of Maine. The teams split two games during the regular season with each winning on the road.

The Great Danes forced Duke into a season-worst 27 turnovers, but the fourth-seeded Blue Devils (22-10) still managed to win their NCAA Tournament opener for the 22nd straight time. But it wasn’t easy.

“We didn’t go down without a fight tonight,” said Greenwell, a redshirt freshman who finished with 20 points.

Imani Tate had 17 points and Shereesha Richards added 12 for the Great Danes (24-9), who were trying to become just the second No. 13 seed to win a game in the tournament and the first since Marist in 2012.

“We should have won the game,” guard Sarah Royals said. “I think that we outplayed them, and I’m not ashamed to say it.”

They had two chances to retake the lead after Greenwell’s big shot in the final seconds put Duke up, 53-52.

Tate missed on a drive down the lane with about 8 seconds left and Duke’s Azura Stevens hit the first of two free throws with 6.4 seconds left.

She missed the second and the Great Danes raced down court, but Erin Coughlin’s corner 3 clipped off the back iron at the buzzer.

“I’m convinced that every shot Erin shoots goes in,” Royals said.

Elizabeth Williams had 12 rebounds but was just 2 for 9 shooting while Amber Henson added 10 boards for Duke, coached by Joanne P. McCallie, a Brunswick native and former UMaine coach. Her team advances to play fifth-seeded Mississippi State on Sunday.

“The best we played was probably in the last minute, in terms of what we’re supposed to be doing and how we do it,” McCallie said. “I am very proud of Elizabeth down the stretch for making some things happen, and obviously for Becca because that was such a huge play.”

The Blue Devils rarely have trouble with their first NCAA Tournament opponent, winning each of their previous 18 first-round games by double figures.

Not this time.

The Blue Devils had their hands full with an Albany team making its fourth straight tournament appearance. Neither team led by more than eight, and the Great Danes appeared to be in control late, leading by four with the ball in the final 90 seconds.

“I think we all had faith in each other that we were still going to win the game,” Williams said. “I don’t think there was any doubt in anyone’s mind.”

Williams made it a one-possession game with a jumper in the lane with about 1:10 remaining, and Duke got the ball back after Richards and Tate missed with about 40 seconds to play.

Royals fouled Williams with 22.2 seconds left and after the Duke All-American missed both – the second on purpose – the officials called a held ball and the arrow pointed the Blue Devils’ way.

Greenwell inbounded the ball to Ka’lia Johnson, who kicked it back over to Greenwell for a deep 3 from the right wing that swished through for her season-best sixth – and most important – 3-pointer.