Sunday, December 21, 2014

University of Albany WBB Defeats Cal State Fullerton 71-49 for Second-Straight Year - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

FULLERTON, Calif. – Mirroring the score of last year’s game between the two, the UAlbany women’s basketball team, led by 18 points off the bench from Zakiya Saunders, took down Cal State Fullerton 71-49 on the road to finish the California road trip at 2-0.

UAlbany (7-4) never looked back after taking the lead four minutes into the contest.  The Great Danes shot 56.6% in the game, including 62.5% in the first half, and held Cal State Fullerton (4-7) to 34.6% from the field.

“It was our goal to come home for Christmas with two wins under our belt,” said UAlbany coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “The gameplan was to control their point guard, we wanted to press her and wear her out.”

Saunders earned a career-high 18 points and three steals off the bench, hitting eight of her 10 field goal attempts.

“I felt good today, we executed everything that our coaches told us to do, and we got the victory,” said Saunders. “There were a lot more opportunities today to catch and shoot outside shots, not just for me but for everyone.”

Shereesha Richards scored in double digits for her 11th-straight game, finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds.  Sarah Royals also nearly earned a double-double with nine assists, her highest single game total in over a calendar year and moving into fourth all-time in UAlbany history with 354 assists, and eight points.  Imani Tate went 6-8 on shooting with 14 points and four rebounds.

For CSF, Chante Miles scored 13 points and notched seven assists.  Kathleen Iwuoha almost got a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.

At the game’s start, UAlbany primarily looked to the paint while Fullerton sought shots from the perimeter.  The team exchanged early baskets, with at 5-4 home team, an Erin Coughlin kickout three and a Tate putback layup putting UAlbany in front 9-5 through the first four minutes.

UAlbany used the full court press against the Titans, showing dividends midway through the half.  Following Miles hitting a three, UAlbany hit four baskets in the paint in a row, the final one with a foul as Richards hit the free throw to complete a 9-0 run and give the Great Danes a 20-10 lead with 10:15 remaining in the 1st.

The UAlbany guards started getting shot chances, with Royals driving baseline for the layup, while Saunders hit a trio of jumpers as the Great Danes kept a 30-17 advantage with 5:48 left in the half.

Each side continued to trade baskets, with Saunders leading UAlbany with long jumpers and Royals adding shots on running down the baseline.  CSF switched tactics and went for layups against UAlbany’s frontcourt.  At 38-25, Margarita Rosario hit a three on the elbow, followed by Royals hitting a layup.  Lakyn Gulley hit a three on the wing with 30 seconds left for CSF to put the halftime score at 43-28 UAlbany.

Tate hit a jumper just inside the arc to start the second period.  CSF forced a couple of turnovers and converted for a pair of baskets.  UAlbany countered with Saunders free throws, another Royals layup towards the baseline, Royals inbounding to Saunders for the layup then Rosario hitting the elbow three to cap the run at 9-0 and push the team up 54-32 with 14:14 left in the 2nd.

CSF pulled to within 15 after another Gulley three to make it 56-41 with 10 minutes left.  Richards hit a jumper as the UAlbany defense did not allow a field goal for the next six minutes.  Tiana-Jo Carter and Tate added more points in the paint as the run went totaled 9-0 to make it 65-41 UAlbany with 4:50 left.

The Great Danes got their reserves in the latter stages of the game, with Bose Aiyalogbe and Jessica Fequiere each playing in the final minutes.  UAlbany took the 71-49 victory.

UAlbany will return home and break for the holidays, taking on Northeastern at the SEFCU Arena on Sunday, December 28th at 2 p.m.

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