ALBANY, N.Y. -- Julie Forster scored 10 points, including the 1,000th of her career, while Ebone Henry netted a game-high 22 points to lead UAlbany to a 69-41 win over Binghamton in America East Conference women's basketball action on Saturday evening at the 16th Annual Big Purple Growl. The Great Danes, who remain undefeated in league play, now boast an 18-3 overall record with an unblemished 9-0 league slate. Binghamton drops to 4-18 overall, and 3-6 in the America East.
Henry scored the first basket of the game, and the Great Danes never looked back. After her first bucket, the senior guard, who was honored later in the evening for becoming the program's all-time leading scorer, scored four of the next six points, with baskets sandwiching a pair of free throws by Forster. After the second media timeout of the first half at 11:54, UAlbany used two free throws from Margarita Rosario and back-to-back layups by Shereesha Richards to build up a 12-point lead, 18-6, with 10:44 to play.
Binghamton was able to cut the UAlbany advantage back to single digits on a 3-pointer by Stephanie Jensen at 7:24 that pulled the Bearcats to within 22-13, but Keyana Williams put in consecutive baskets to extend the Great Dane lead back to 13 with just over five mintues to play. Henry and Richards accounted for the final UAlbany points of the half, with Henry hitting a jumper and a trey and Richards sinking two free throws. Vaneeshia Paulk scored Binghamton's final three points from the charity stripe, sending the teams to the locker room with UAlbany ahead, 33-16.
The Great Danes didn't let up after the break, and quckly build up a 23-point advantage on three consecutive 3-pointers - two from Lindsey Lowrie and one from Sarah Royals - to hold a 44-21 lead with 17:12 to play. UAlbany took its largest lead of the game, 48-23, on a layup by Henry at 14:07. Binghamton then attempted to rally, cutting the deficit to 15 on a jumper and 3-pointer by Mallory Lawes to pull within 50-35 with 11:30 to play.
UAlbany would not fold, however, and pushed the lead back to 26 on two free throws by Rosario at 1:40 that put the Great Danes on top, 65-39. With 42 seconds to play, Forster pulled down her own offensive rebound and converted it into a bucket to score her 1,000th career point and set the final score. She becomes the ninth women's basketball player in school history to reach the milestone, and the first player to ever score 1,000 points and pull down 1,000 rebounds.
Richards finished with 12 points for the Great Danes, while Williams pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Henry, who went 6-for-6 from the free throw line, also added six rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while Royals handed out a game-high six helpers. UAlbany shot 46.9-percent (23-49) from the floor, while holding Binghamton to 32.0-percent (16-50) shooting.
The Great Danes will return to action on Wednesday, hosting UMBC at SEFCU Arena at 7 p.m. UAlbany posted an 87-33 win over the Retrievers in the America East opener earlier this season.