Thursday, November 15, 2007

UAlbany breezes past Colgate, 86-62,in Women's Basketball Home Opener

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – UAlbany freshman Janea Aiken scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Great Danes to a 86-62 win over Colgate in non-conference women’s basketball action on Thursday evening at SEFCU Arena in the team’s 2007-08 home opener.

UAlbany (1-2) jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead to start the game, but Colgate fought back, taking a 19-18 lead with 9:18 on the clock on a jump shot by Caitlin Gillard. The Raiders built up a nine-point lead, 33-24, with 2:56 left to play in the half, but UAlbany went on a 13-4 run to end the half with the score tied at 37 apiece.

The Great Danes came out of the locker room firing, as senior Kristin Higy hit a 3-pointer at 18:26 to give UAlbany back the lead. Colgate (0-3) would pull within one, 44-43, three minutes later, but UAlbany would pull away. A shot by TaNika Thrower from long range at 11:02 gave the Great Danes a nine-point lead, 56-47, and Kirsten Peterson made three consecutive free throws to build the lead to double digits with just over nine minutes remaining.

UAlbany outscored the Raiders 12-2 over the next three minutes to give the Great Danes a 75-52 lead with 4:05 on the clock. Aiken, who made 7-of-11 from the floor, nailed her fourth 3-pointer of the game in the late going. Peterson drained two more free throws in the closing seconds to set the final 24-point margin.

“I knew we had more talent than we had shown,” said UAlbany head coach Trina Patterson, whose team played a pair of tight games with Indiana and St. Bonaventure to start the season. “We just needed to get ourselves going. Our constant pressure wears our opponents down.”

Aiken, who played in 20 minutes off the bench for the Great Danes, finished with a team-high five assists and added two steals. Higy added 19 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Sophomore guard Britney McGee also added double-digit points, netting 15 on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor and a 4-of-4 performance from the free throw line.

Sami Kozlowski led Colgate with 18 points and a game-high seven assists. Krista Moser added 13 points and nine boards while Katie Garman finished with 11 points on 3-for-4 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.

“We needed this win,” said Aiken, who reached double figures for the first time as a collegian. “We were getting a little down on ourselves because we knew we could have won those first two games. This is what we needed to do.”

UAlbany will head back to the road to continue non-conference play, visiting La Salle on Monday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.

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