Saturday, December 13, 2014

27-2 Second Half Surge Leads University of Albany WBB to Fifth-Straight Albany Cup in 76-57 Win at Siena - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy:  UA Sports

ALBANY, N.Y. – With Imani Tate and Tiana-Jo Carter holding the fort in the first half, Shereesha Richards led UAlbany to outscore Siena 49-27 in the second period, including a 27-2 streak, for the 76-57 Great Danes victory to secure the team’s fifth-consecutive Albany Cup.

“Shereesha [Richards] being in the game was big, our press was working and we were more aggressive,” said UAlbany coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, who has led the team to Albany Cup victories in all five years of her tenure. “It started with our press; we knew they did not have many players, and a lot of [our] players got steals.”

UAlbany (5-3), down 30-27 at the break, shot 61.3% in the second half and had 37 points in the game off turnovers to Siena’s (3-4) 11.  Richards, sidelined in the first half due to foul trouble, scored 20 points off 9-12 shooting in the final 20 minutes.

“I was mad that I got myself two fouls, but my teammates had my back in that half, and we were fine in the end,” said Richards, who moved into 6th all-time in UAlbany history with 1,120 points.

Tate also had 20 points in the game, with 10 in each half, adding five boards and three steals.  Carter shot 8-12 from the field for a career-high 16 points and three steals, scoring 10 points in the first half.

“In the second half, we had more fun with the press, and there was no panic after the first half,” said Tate.

For Siena, Margot Hetzke scored 16 points, adding five rebounds.  Tehresa Coles tallied 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

Tate was the go to target on the first couple of possessions, scoring off the screen from Carter and later off the backboard driving down the baseline.  Despite some early foul trouble on Richards and Tate, UAlbany held an early 8-5 advantage five minutes in.

The next couple of minutes saw each team have trouble connecting on offense.  Erin Coughlin hit a one-handed layup on a drive to the basket, which was countered by Siena free throws.  Siena took the lead 11-10 at 9:30 elapsed.

Carter put UAlbany back in lead with a layup underneath while double teamed.  Siena hit threes the next couple of possessions, adding a Kollyns Scarbrough jumper for an 8-0 run and a 19-12 advantage.

Foul trouble continued to trouble UAlbany as Siena built its advantage to 10.  UAlbany attacked the paint to pull forward, with Carter, Tate and Carter hitting baskets in succession, with Coughlin hitting the open three on the elbow to pull the team with one at 26-25 with 3:06 left in the half.  Some late Siena free throws made it 30-27 Saints by the end of the half.

Each side exchanged shots to start the second half, with a couple of early Siena transition baskets giving the home team a larger lead.  Carter hit a couple of layups to pull UAlbany closer, with Siena adding a trio of baskets to go up 42-33 in the half’s opening four minutes.

Down 44-36, UAlbany looked to its junior captain down low.  Richards battled with Siena’s frontcourt players, hitting three layups en route to UAlbany tying the game.  Tate hit a layup and one, with Richards adding a layup, then Carter adding a couple. 

UAlbany kept forcing turnovers with the full court press as Tate, Richards and Carter contributed baskets, with Sarah Royals adding free throws.  The run went to 27-2 as UAlbany surged ahead 63-46 as the Great Danes held Siena without a field goal for 8:28.

The teams went back and forth in the following minutes, with UAlbany leading 71-50 with 3:08 remaining.  Coles and Hetzke hit free throws as Siena got to within 16 at 77-55 with two minutes left.  UAlbany did not allow a field goal in the final 5:11 and held off Siena the rest of the way, winning 76-57.

UAlbany will face its third MAAC team in the row on Monday, December 15th, heading to Hamden, Connecticut to play Quinnipiac at 7 p.m.

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