Saturday, February 2, 2008

University of Albany's Women's Basketball Defeats Stony Brook, 77-65, in Annual Big Purple Growl Game

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – TaNika Thrower scored a season-high 19 points to pace four players in double figures in leading UAlbany to a 77-65 America East Conference victory over Stony Brook on Saturday afternoon at SEFCU Arena. The Great Danes were playing in the first half of the Big Purple Growl, the University’s Winter Homecoming.

UAlbany (6-14, AE 4-3) led 37-35 early in the second half, but then scored 15 of the game’s next 19 points. Kristin Higy, who had 15 points and six rebounds, scored three baskets in that span. Thrower added a pair of foul-line jumpers. Sherri Mikus, who had 12 points, gave her team a 52-39 cushion by finishing off a fastbreak.

Stony Brook (6-14, AE 1-6) closed within five points on three separate occasions, including 63-58 with 4:43 to play when Kirsten Jeter connected on a three-point play as she was fouled on a drive in transition. The Great Danes, who had dropped seven straight Big Purple Growl games, ended the threat with six straight points. Gia Sanders and Thrower each sank two foul shots, before freshman guard Janea Aiken hit a drive in the lane.

Stony Brook led 27-20 with 6:08 remaining the first half. The Seawolves used a 12-1 run to gain that margin. Kairsten Nunn, who netted a career-high 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting, put her team ahead with a three-point field goal. Crystal Rushin would later make a layup after a steal and Aly Young canned a jumper in the lane to complete the run. UAlbany responded with 11 unanswered. Higy began that outburst with a 3-pointer from the right wing off an inbounds play. Higy, a 6-foot-1 senior, would add two free throws and a jumper. Sanders made two foul shots for a 31-27 advantage with 1:47 left before the break.

“Defense is our key,” said UAlbany coach Trina Patterson, whose team held Stony Brook to 40.6-percent shooting on 26-of-64 attempts. “We had to win ugly because sometimes the defense isn’t going to cause a lot of turnovers. We had to play with high energy.”

Britney McGee added 12 points for the Great Danes, who snapped a three-game skid in their previous outing with a league win over Binghamton. Sanders, who was making her second appearance after suffering a hand injury, totaled eight points and a career-high 15 rebounds. The Seawolves’ Jeter scored in twin figures for the eighth time this season with 15 points.

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