Friday, November 19, 2010

Felicia Johnson's Basket Leads University of Albany to Third Straight Win in 49-48 Decision at Manhattan - UAlbany Sports 2010

Riverdale, N.Y. - Felicia Johnson scored a career-high 21 points and made the go-ahead jumper in leading UAlbany to a 49-48 victory over Manhattan on Friday, Nov. 19 at Draddy Gymnasium. The Great Danes, under first-year head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson, have opened a season with three victories for the first time since 1986-87
Manhattan (2-1) led 27-18 early in the second half, but the Great Danes held their opponent scoreless for the next six-plus minutes and in the process ran off 13 unanswered. Ebone Henry, who tallied nine of her 14 points after the break, buried a three-point field goal, before Johnson made a short bank shot from left of the lane to draw their team even. Julie Forster scored in the lane from a driving Henry and Cassandra Callaway converted a layup off her steal to finish off the run.

UAlbany (3-0) extended its margin to as much as six on four occasions, including 43-37 on Forster's two free throws. Still trailing 47-42, the Jaspers went back ahead on a pair of conventional three-point plays. Schyanne Halfkenny was fouled as connected in the lane off Nadia Peters' feed. Abby Wentworth, who led her team with 17 points, drove from the top of the circle and tacked on a free throw with 2:24 to play.

Johnson, a junior guard, later made a 12-footer in the lane off the dribble to regain the lead. After Henry missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with 19 seconds remaining, Manhattan set up for the last shot. But Halfkenny misfired on the right baseline in the closing seconds.

"We started to move Ebone (Henry) around to look for open shots and placed Julie in the high post to get movement on the baseline," said Abrahamson-Henderson, as her team combated Manhattan's zone defense. "Felicia Johnson carried us the whole game. She is relentless and a proven winner."

In the first half, Manhattan used an aggressive zone and three-quarter court pressure to hold UAlbany to 17.9-percent shooting and force nine turnovers. The Jaspers led 8-7, but then tallied 10 of the game's next 12 points. Halfkenny made two free throws and canned a three-pointer from the right corner off a skip pass to lead the outburst. Wentworth sank a jumper in the lane and split a pair of foul shots for a nine-point lead.

The Great Danes closed the gap to 20-16 behind the play of Johnson, who added five steals, four assists and four rebounds to her scoring total. The junior guard fed Julie Forster in transition and made a three-point shot from left of the key. Manhattan had the final two baskets in the half when Toni-Ann Lawrence completed a cut in the lane and Wentworth drilled a jumper off a screen.

Henry, a sophomore, recorded her third consecutive double-double by grabbing 10 rebounds and made three of her four 3-pointers in the final stanza. Toni-Ann Lawrence added 10 points for the Jaspers, who playing for the first time at home this season.

Paw Prints: UAlbany has won its opening three games for the first time as a Division I program ... Felicia Johnson's previous career-high was 20 points against Vermont on Feb. 6, 2010 ... Julie Forster added six points and eight rebounds ... the Great Danes improved to a more respectable 46.2-percent shooting in the second half ... Manhattan won the only other meeting between these programs, a 74-56 victory on Nov. 30, 1999 ... the Jaspers were picked to finish fourth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason poll.

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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