Saturday, December 3, 2011

University of Albany Women's Basketball Defeats Cross-Town Rival Siena, 72-48 - UAlbany Sports 2011

Albany, N.Y. - Cassandra Callaway totaled a game-high 24points, all in the second half while Ebone Henry and Julie Forster both recorded double-doubles to lead UAlbany to a 72-48 win over cross-town rival Siena on Saturday afternoon at the Times Union Center. It is the second straight Albany Cup victory for the Great Danes and the first time UAlbany has won consecutive games since renewing the annual rivalry.

The teams exchanged points to start the first half before UAlbany took a 10-6 lead on three straight baskets by the Great Danes, capped off by a layup by freshman guard Sarah Royals. UAlbany continued to build its lead, scoring six of the next eight points. Forward Julie Forster topped the run with a steal, intercepting a Siena cross-court pass, and carrying the ball to the other end of the floor for a fast-break layup, putting the Great Danes on top, 16-8. The Saints ended the UAlbany run at 8:52, as Ciara Stewart hit a jumper in the lane.

Siena's Cristina Centeno nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to cut the UAlbany lead to 18-13 with just over seven minutes left in the half, but Forster dropped in two of her 12 first-half points to keep the Great Danes on top, 20-13. Centeno hit her second trey of the game with 3:22 left to play, and was then successful on one-of-two free throws, keeping Siena within reach, 22-17. As the half wound down, Ebone Henry drained two shots from the charity stripe with 1:34 on the clock, while Megan Craig took an assist from Lindsey Lowrie with under a minute to go to set the halftime score at 28-20.

The Great Danes took their first double-digit lead of the game just 30 seconds into the second half, as Adrienne Jones passed the ball to Forster on the right block for a jump shot. However, Siena battled back to pull within five, 32-27, on a layup by Lily Grenci, with 15:13 on the clock. The Great Danes then sunk 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions and pushed the lead back to ten, 39-29, with 13:55 left to play.

With 10:48 on the clock, Callaway gave UAlbany its biggest lead of the game, converting a conventional three-point play to put the Great Danes on top, 46-33. UAlbany continued to build the lead 40 seconds later as Henry sunk her second 3-pointer of the game, pushing the advantage to 16. Callaway added three more of her game-high points on a long-range shot and a jumper in the paint to give the Great Danes 22-point advantage with 8:32 left to play.

UAlbany continued to roll as the clock rolled down, as Callaway nailed two free throws with 2:25 left to play to extent the lead to 71-43. Siena managed strong free throw shooting down the stretch, but the Saints were unable to overcome the deficit and one-of-two from the charity stripe from Royals set the final score.f

"We had a lot of fight, determination, toughness and focus for 40 minutes," said UAlbany head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, who is 2-0 against Siena since taking over the helm. "We really put in 40 minutes of hard work. It was a great win for us, especially coming off three losses."

Forster finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Henry filled the boxscore with 12 points, 12 boards, seven assists, three steals and a block. The Great Danes shot 41.7-percent from the field, including 46.2-percent from three-point range. UAlbany also out-rebounded the Saints, 43-37.

Grenci scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Siena (1-4). Centeno also finished in double figures with 16 points, hitting all three of the Saints' 3-pointers in the game.

UAlbany (4-4) will return to action on Tuesday, hosting Niagara in non-conference action.

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