Wednesday, December 31, 2014

University of Albany Women's Basketball Richards Earns 34-Point Career Day in 71-56 Defeat at #9/8 North Carolina - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – With Shereesha Richards leading the charge with 34 points, the fourth-highest single game total in program history, the UAlbany women’s basketball team battled #9/8 North Carolina most of the way, falling short in a 71-56 defeat.

“We are trying to get better as a team and play at a high level, that’s why we play these games to see where we are,” said UAlbany coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “It was a good game, I wanted them to fight and see what was inside of them.”

Richards earned a season-high 34 points, her second highest total in her collegiate career, with nine rebounds and three steals.  No other, including UNC players, scored more than 16 points in the contest.  Richards also moved into 5th all-time in UAlbany history in scoring with 1,219 points.

“I would like to win every game, and today, it is not about how many points I scored,” said Richards. “We want to get to that level so we can win these games.”

“She is a great person first and a workhorse second, and she is relentless,” said Abrahamson-Henderson on Richards. “It is a blessing to have her on this team.”

UAlbany (7-6) led early in the contest, with UNC (12-1) getting 6-0 and 7-0 runs in the first half to build a double digit lead.  UAlbany was outscored in the second half by only three.

Tiana-Jo Carter scored seven points with a game-high 10 rebounds, while Imani Tate also had seven points with three boards.

For UNC, Jessica Washington scored 16 points off the bench, adding five rebounds.  Alisha Gray scored 15 points with three steals and seven rebounds, while Stephanie Mavunga nearly had a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds.

At the game’s start, UAlbany looked to the paint while UNC fired away from three.  Carter hit the opening basket on a putback.  UNC got a mini 5-0 run, with Richards countering with a layup to pull UAlbany within one at 5-4 in the opening 3:01.

Down 8-5, UAlbany got a spurt: Richards hit the layup, then with the full court press, Sarah Royals forced the turnover in the backcourt, with the pass to Tate turning into a layup for a 9-8 Great Danes lead.  After a Gray three, Richards hit another basket to tie the game at 11.

Following a Latifah Coleman three for UNC, both sides traded baskets, with Richards continuing to hit shots and the Tar Heels finding scores in the paint.  At 18-17, the home team hit three jumpers in a row, the final pair from Mavunga, to build a 24-17 lead, inducing UAlbany to call a timeout.

Richards stopped the run with another jumper, then Royals forced a steal up top the arc, going coast-to-cast against two UNC players to score a layup to pull UAlbany within four at 26-22 with 8:19 remaining in the 1st.

UNC kept UAlbany without points for over the next six minutes while the Great Danes held the Tar Heels out of the paint, allowing two three-pointers in the same time span.  A UNC free throw made it 33-22 with under two in the 1st.

Carter hit a layup to stop the UNC streak, with Cassandra Edwards adding a free throw.  UNC hit two baskets in the final 1:16 of the half to lead 37-25 at the break.

Into the second half, Richards came back in after foul trouble and started getting baskets, trading baskets with UNC.  A Richards jumper and couple of free throws pulled UAlbany to be down 44-32 four minutes into the period.

UNC starting getting hot from the perimeter, hitting its next three attempts, with a Tar Heel free throw and Richards layup making the score 54-34 UNC under 14 minutes remaining.

UAlbany called timeout and regrouped.  Royals drove down the baseline and hit the layup, followed by Zakiya Saunders deflecting, stealing and scoring on her own.  Tate added free throws, then Saunders had an arc pass to Richards to make it an 8-0 run to make it 54-42 as the UAlbany defense held UNC without points for four minutes.

The teams kept exchanging baskets as UNC kept a double digit lead.  UAlbany kept finding Richards for shots underneath, while UNC took advantage of the free throw line.  UNC built the lead back up to 17 at 62-45 with 6:38 left to play.

The Great Danes kept fighting, using a Carter layup and a Tate basket to pull back within 13 with five minutes left.  UAlbany did not get closer, and despite late points from Richards and Margarita Rosario, the Great Danes fell 71-56.

UAlbany now gets set for America East play, traveling to Bangor for a noon game against Maine on Saturday, January 3rd on ESPN3.


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.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Late Singletary Three Seals 64-60 Win For University of Albany Men’s Basketball at Yale - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

NEW HAVEN, CONN. – Junior point guard Evan Singletary hit a three with a tie game and two minutes left in regulation to send University at Albany men’s basketball (4-6) to at 64-60 win at Yale (8-4) on Saturday afternoon.

“I thought our guys did a good job, especially the last six or seven minutes of the game,” said head coach Will Brown. “Our rebounding, defense and execution was really good the last few minutes against a really good basketball team. I’m proud of our guys, with nine new players I’m happy with the way they’ve bought in the last two games.”

Yale turned the ball over early in the game, with four giveaways to the Great Danes in the first few minutes. The Bulldogs took an initial 3-0 lead, but UAlbany responded with a 13-4 run. Five minutes into the game, all five starters for Will Brown had at least two points.

Javier Duren drained a three to put Yale within three, but a turnover on the other end kept the Bulldogs from gaining much ground.

With the Purple & Gold pushing the ball up the floor, Yale continued to struggle in the turnover column. A fast-paced game helped UAlbany take an early 10-2 lead in points in the paint.

The Great Danes hit a shooting drought mid-way through the first half, which ended thanks to good defense. Peter Hooley picked off a Yale pass at mid-court, and Richard Peters followed up with a tip-in to extend the UAlbany lead to 18-14 with 8:30 on the clock.

Will Brown’s squad was willing to concede outside jumpers to Yale’s forwards, but the Bulldogs began making them with five minutes to go in the half. Wheeler Baker hit a long three from Mike Rowley to keep the Bulldogs at bay.

Yale tied the game late in the first, but Singletary streaked down the lane for the lay-in to regain the lead. The Great Danes entered the locker room at the break with a one-point advantage, 29-28.

The Bulldogs came out shooting well in the second half, making their first three shots. Yale took the lead for the first time since the opening moments of the game, and Brown called timeout to regroup down 35-31.

James Jones’s squad led by as many as eight points with 13 minutes left. The Bulldogs committed just three turnovers in the opening 13 minutes of the second half.

Sam Rowley began to come alive on the offensive end, converting on a traditional three-point play with just under 10 minutes to go. Hooley poured on five-straight points of his own.

Ray Sanders drew his second charge on Armani Cotton at the 7:34 mark to get UAlbany back on track defensively, and the Purple & Gold began to mount a comeback.

After Hooley made two free throws with 5:10 on the clock, UAlbany climbed within three points, 56-53. A seven-point swing on a 9-0 run over less than two minutes put the Great Danes back on top. Hooley tied the game at 56 thanks to a traditional three-point play on a steal from Sam Rowley.

Sam Rowley gave UAlbany its first lead since the beginning of the second half, 58-56 with 3:32 to go on two made free throws. The Bulldogs came down the floor to make two free throws of their own to tie the game at 58. The two freebies from Justin Sears marked Yale’s first points in three minutes. Yale went without a field goal for the final 6:10 of play.

With the game tied at 58, Sam Rowley missed the go-ahead jumper; but Sanders flew in to grab the offensive board, the ninth and most important of the contest for UAlbany.

Rowley hit the rim to reset the shot clock, setting up another opportunity to take the lead. Singletary stepped back off of a ball screen, and Yale failed to hedge and put a hand up. The junior sank the three from the top of the key to put UAlbany ahead.

“To be honest, I knew I would take the shot once [Yale] switched on the screen,” said Singletary. “He didn’t put a hand up so I just rose up and shot it.”

After Sears made two free throws, Singletary went to the other end to make two of his own. The score remained a three-point lead in favor of the Purple & Gold with 28 seconds left.

The Great Danes fouled Javier Duren outside the three point line, forcing him to the charity stripe with both teams in the double bonus. Duren missed both free throws, and the Bulldogs were subsequently forced to foul Sanders. Sanders made one of two to make it a two-possession game, 64-60 and put the game away.

Three Danes concluded the game in double figures, including Singletary (19), Sam Rowley (15) and Hooley (13). Singletary went 6-for-8 from the field and 3-for-4 from three. Over his last two games, the junior is averaging 20 points on 11-for-14 (.786) from the field, 6-for-7 (.857) from three and 12-for-13 (.923) from the free throw line.

Hooley and Rowley each had 11 second-half points, while Rowley and Singletary combined to go a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line in the final 20 minutes. Rowley led the team in rebounds (6) and steals (4).

“Two games ago we were on the wrong track,” said Rowley. “After the game today, it’s nice to accomplish what we’ve come to accomplish the last two games. We’ve done a good job of altering our mindset.”

UAlbany took a 36-14 advantage for the game in points in the paint, and handed the Bulldogs their first home loss of 2014-15.

The Great Danes return to SEFCU Arena on Monday, Dec. 22 to face Fairfield (4-6, 2-0 MAAC) at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Coach Abe Gets Win #100 at UAlbany as 26-2 Great Danes Streak Leads to 62-36 Victory at Pepperdine - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

MALIBU, Calif. – The UAlbany women’s basketball team held Pepperdine without a basket for a span of 17:34, using a 26-2 run to beat back the Waves 62-36, earning Katie Abrahamson-Henderson’s 100 victory with the program.

“I am happy for Sarah [Royals] and Margarita [Rosario] and all the young women that have been part of this,” said Abrahamson-Henderson on her 100th win. “It is humbling.”

UAlbany (6-4) held Pepperdine (5-6) without a field goal in the final 5:34 of the first period, extending that mark well into the second half.  UAlbany, from the first to second half, went on a 26-2 run, later extending to a 32-4 run, to build up a 29-point lead.  UAlbany never trailed in the contest.

“Defense was the key today,” said Abrahamson-Henderson. “Being focused on our gameplan was key; our gameplan was to put pressure on the ball, and we wanted to press and trap all game.”

The Great Danes shot 51.2% in the game, holding Pepperdine to just nine field goals and 25% on shooting.  UAlbany did not allow any Wave to score more than seven points and had its strongest defensive performance since February 19th, 2014, when the Great Danes defeated Binghamton 86-35.

Shereesha Richards had her 10th-consecutive double digit scoring game, earning 16 points, six steals and five rebounds.  Imani Tate shot 6-9 from the field for 15 points, four assists and seven rebounds, while Zakiya Saunders went 5-7 on field goals for 10 points.  With an assist to Richards 2:43 in, Sarah Royals extended her streak to 75-straight games with an assist.

“It is always great to come out and get a win, my teammates played hard and we got a great victory,” said Richards. “It was important to get a victory after coming all the way out to California.”

For Pepperdine, Kim Jacobs and Olivia Ogwumike each scored seven points.  Tessa Emerson scored four points and grabbed seven rebounds.

At the start, UAlbany focused on attacking the paint plus forced turnovers the other side.  With Tiana-Jo Carter and Richards each contributing four points, the Great Danes built an early 10-4 lead.

Pepperdine quick fired a couple shots and pulled to within one at 10-9.  Tate stopped the run with a free throw; on the next possession, UAlbany pushed in transition and found Tate for the pull-up at the line.  Each side added one basket in the following four minutes as UAlbany led 15-11 with under eight minutes in the first half.

At 16-12, Pepperdine hit a couple of baskets to tie the game, leading UAlbany to call a timeout and regroup.

Saunders buried a 15-footer on the elbow out of the timeout to start a run for UAlbany.  Again UAlbany went to the paint, with Richards following with a pair of layups and Royals adding a floater.  Before the half expired, Saunders hit another long jumper at the buzzer, capping the streak at 10-1 as UAlbany did not allow a Pepperdine field goal in the period’s final 5:43.  UAlbany took a 26-17 lead into the locker room.

Tate extended the run for UAlbany with a couple of free throws.  After a Pepperdine free throw, Saunders hit a jumper, followed by Richards with a swipe and score and one. 

The UAlbany zone defense continued to force long shots and misses for Pepperdine.  Tate and Richards added baskets, with Royals adding the corner three for a quick seven points.  After two Pepperdine free throws, the UAlbany zone continued to hold its opponent without a basket as the Great Danes tallied a 32-4 run to make it 48-22.

Later, UAlbany went up 51-22 off an elbow three from Margarita Rosario.  Kim Jacobs netted a jumper with 8:10 left in the 2nd as UAlbany held Pepperdine without a field goal for a span of 17:35.

After Carter hit a layup, Pepperdine went on a 9-1 streak.  UAlbany held off Pepperdine the rest of way, holding the Waves without points for the final three minutes.  Jessica Fequiere had three points off a free throw and a transition layup as UAlbany finished with a 6-0 run to win the game 62-36.

UAlbany will stay in California and take on Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, December 21st at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) to finish the six-game road trip.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

University of Albany Alum Ryan Feuerstein Selected by Rochester Rattlers in MLL Supplemental Draft - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

ALBANY, N.Y. – Former UAlbany midfielder Ryan Feuerstein is the latest Great Dane to get a chance at the professional ranks, being drafted by the Rochester Rattlers in the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Supplemental Draft on Wednesday.

Feuerstein was selected by the Rattlers in the 4th round and 31st overall in the draft.  The supplemental draft is held in December for teams to fill rosters after protecting their first 23 players.  Over 800 players entered the draft, including 100, like Feuerstein, that had not previously played in the league last season.

A two-time All-America East midfielder, including earning First Team honors in 2014, Feuerstein played at UAlbany from 2011-14, starting the last two seasons.  In his collegiate career, he scored 43 goals and 13 assists for 56 points, adding 111 ground balls and 21 caused turnovers.  His senior year, he finished with 22 goals, seven points, 43 ground balls and nine caused turnovers.

In his time at UAlbany, he helped the Great Danes win a pair of America East titles, scoring a pair of goals in each America East Tournament win in 2014.  He scored a goal and scooped five ground balls in UAlbany’s NCAA Quarterfinal game vs. Notre Dame.

Last season, UAlbany lacrosse players Miles Thompson and Ty Thompson each were drafted and suited up for the Rattlers.  Miles Thompson played nine games for the Rattlers, scoring 12 goals and seven assists.  Rochester was the league regular season champion with a 10-4 record, falling to the Denver Outlaws in the title game.

The supplemental draft was held via teleconference by the league and its teams.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

University of Albany Men's Basketball Squashes Siena Again for Third Straight Year - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany men’s basketball (3-6) didn’t let a four-game losing streak keep them from their third straight Albany Cup on Saturday night, earning a 77-68 victory over cross-town rival Siena. Evan Singletary and Peter Hooley combined for 41 points to lead the Great Danes. Will Brown’s squad went 29-for-32 (.906) from the charity stripe.

“It’s always a close and intense game,” said Brown. “Our mindset was to control tempo. If we had opportunities against their pressure, that’s the way were going to go. We wanted to make them defend and mix up our defenses. They’re very talented, and we needed to play this game at our tempo.”

With the pace of play slow in the early-going, the teams missed six shots between them in the opening moments of the contest. Richard Peters made one of two free throws in his second consecutive start to get UAlbany on the board.

The Great Danes held the Saints scoreless for the first three minutes, forcing Siena to foul. By the under-four media timeout, Siena had three team fouls on 1-for-8 (.125) shooting.

Jimmy Patsos kept the pressure up on the full-court zone press, forcing two Great Danes turnovers. Ray Sanders counteracted with solid defense of his own, tipping a Saints pass and going the distance for a dunk to get the Purple & Gold crowd on its feet.

By the time Siena’s Lavon Long committed his second team foul at the 14:09 mark, the Saints had four team fouls while UAlbany remained clean in the foul column.

The shooting woes continued for Siena, as an 0-for-3 clip from Rob Poole added to a 3-for-14 (.214) field goal percentage for the Saints after nine minutes of play. Will Brown’s squad was 5-for-11 (.455).

Outstanding defense continued to pave the way for the Purple & Gold in the first half, as a Sam Rowley rejection on Poole sent Sanders down the floor for a lay-in and a 14-8 lead.

Siena guided UAlbany into the bonus at the 8:54 mark, after Javion Ogunyemi got caught with two fouls in four seconds.

Poole did not stay down after missing early shots, the senior captain made a three to put Siena within five points, 18-13 with 8:45 on the clock.

Peter Hooley responded with a three of his own moments later with the shot clock winding down on the right baseline, extending UAlbany’s lead to eight points.

After Hooley’s three, the Great Danes went cold from the field over the next 4:30. Free throws from Hooley and Evan Singletary kept the lead with UAlbany.

Mike Rowley converted on a three-on-two fast break opportunity to snap the field goal drought with 3:15 remaining in the half.

Hooley made another three in front of the Siena bench just over one minute later, forcing Patsos to call timeout to regroup looking to claw back in the game. 

The Great Danes wrapped up the first half with a 34-27 lead on 10-for-20 (.500) shooting. UAlbany matched its season high in first-half field goal percentage against the Saints. Siena committed 10 team fouls, while UAlbany was charged just five. The Great Danes went 11-for-12 (.917) from the charity stripe.

Just 49 seconds into the second half, Singletary went to the hoop for the left-handed lay in and a nine-point lead. The 36-27 advantage was the largest for the Great Danes at that point.

Hooley kept up the pressure on the three-point line, hitting another outside the arc and draining two free throws for five early second-half points.

Lavon Long was charged with his fourth personal foul at the 14:31 mark, but the Saints were 3-for-4 from the field in the early going of the second 20 minutes.

UAlbany looked to slow the pace, but a Poole three brought the Saints within nine points. The Great Danes had extended the lead to as many as 12.

Dallas Ennema was not phased, getting down the floor for a three of his own. The sophomore forward completed the four-point play after getting fouled by a much smaller defender.

With the fouls stacking up again in the second half for Siena, UAlbany found itself in the bonus at the 9:49 mark.

A Sam Rowley lay-up put UAlbany in front 58-46 with nine minutes to play. Fellow Aussie Hooley gave the Great Danes their biggest lead, 61-47 on a three moments later.

Singletary proved to be solid at the free throw line, going 8-for-8 late to extend the lead to 15, 66-51 with four minutes remaining.

Hooley and Rowley connected again on an out-of-bounds play out of a UAlbany timeout. The co-captains put the lead back at 14 after a Poole three.

The charity stripe dictated the remaining three minutes of the game, as the Great Danes went 9-for-10 from the free throw line to take their third consecutive Albany Cup, 77-68. The Purple & Gold made 29 free throws, while Siena made just 15.

“I remember my first Albany Cup,” said Hooley. “We had a good lead, nearly 20 at the half and we ended up losing the game. That really hurt me even on the sideline. I realized how big of a deal this game really is, but this is just another game. I’m glad we saw it as another game and got a good result.”

Singletary (21), Hooley (20) and Ennema (10) all recorded single-game highs in point for the season. Singletary and Hooley become the first players to score 20 or more points in a 2014-15 game for the Great Danes.

Next up for UAlbany is Yale, on Dec. 20 at 2:00 p.m., in New Haven.

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.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

University of Albany's Paula Heuser Wins Honda Sport Award For Field Hockey - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany sophomore midfielder Paula Heuser was named the 2014-15 Honda Sport Award Winner for Field Hockey, Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards announced on Thursday.

“First, I would like to thank the committee for this recognition of my dedication on and off the field,” said Heuser. “I could not have won this award without the effort of the coaching staff everyday and my hard-working teammates. It is a fantastic honor for me, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to be part of such an amazing team this season.”

The sophomore becomes the first all-time Great Dane to earn the Honda Sport Award, after being named the NFHCA National Player of the Year. Heuser is the first underclassman all-time to be named D-I Player of the Year. She is also a two-time NFHCA All-American and America East Midfielder of the Year.

"Everyone at UAlbany is incredibly proud of Paula, and all that she has accomplished this season," said University at Albany Director of Athletics Mark Benson. "She was an instrumental part of UAlbany's first trip to the NCAA Final Four, and individually ranked among the best in the nation all year. Her accomplishments both on and off the field speak highly of her character, and we are honored to have her as part of the Great Dane family."

In 2014, Heuser broke the all-time single-season UAlbany record in goals (29) and points (69). She led the nation in total goals and points, ranking top-two in the nation in goals per game and points per game for six consecutive weeks to end the season. Heuser tallied an all-time league tournament best nine points in two games en route to the America East title, earning Most Outstanding Performer honors.

Heuser was selected by over 1,000 NCAA member institutions for the prestigious award, beating out Lauren Gebhart (Penn State), Kelsey Harbin (Stanford) and Roisin Upton (UConn).

“For all of the awards Paula’s won, she is particularly deserving of the Honda,” added head coach Phil Sykes. “Not only is she an incredible player, but her humility on the field sets a great example for the rest of our team. Paula’s skill level, work ethic and determination put her on another level in our sport.”

The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports.  Honda Sports award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sports award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2015 Honda Cup award presented in June.

THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 38 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service.   Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.8 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

University of Albany's Lyle Thompson, Blaze Riorden Named 2015 Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Preseason All-Americans - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

BALTIMORE – UAlbany returners Lyle Thompson and Blaze Riorden have been named 2015 Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-Americans, the publication announced on Tuesday.

Thompson earned First Team All-America preseason honors, while Riorden picked up Honorable Mention All-America.  The All-America list was announced on the IL website and will be in the Face-Off Yearbook.

Thompson had arguably the top season ever in Division I lacrosse last season, earning co-Tewaaraton Trophy honors with 51 goals and 77 assists for 128 points, the highest single season total in DI lacrosse history.  He scored at least four points in all 18 games last season, including 11 contests with at least seven points.

Riorden, the All-America East First Team goalkeeper last season, finished third in Division I with 16.27 saves per game and 12th in DI with a 54.9 save percentage.  He earned all 12 victories for UAlbany in goal and had at least nine saves in 16 of the team’s 18 contests, including 13 saves with just six goals in the win over Loyola.

Yesterday, the UAlbany men’s lacrosse team was ranked #13 in the publication’s preseason Face-Off Top 20.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

University of Albany’s Heuser Named NFHCA National Player of the Year - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

ALBANY, N.Y. – On the heels of being named an NFHCA All-American for the second straight year, University at Albany field hockey midfielder Paula Heuser was selected as the Longstreth/NFHCA Division I National Player of the Year on Tuesday morning. She is the first non-senior all-time to earn NFHCA Division I National Player of the Year honors.

Heuser has earned a number of postseason honors, and is the first Great Dane all-time to win NFHCA National Player of the Year honors. The midfielder is the NFHCA Northeast Region Player of the Year, and earned NCAA All-Tournament honors following UAlbany’s run to the NCAA Semifinals. She is a two-time NFHCA All-American, NFHCA All-Region first team pick, as well as the two-time America East Midfielder of the Year.

Heuser was the America East Tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer after recording an all-time tournament record nine points in two games. The sophomore led the league in points per game and goals per game throughout the regular season, and topped the nation in both categories entering the NCAA First and Second Rounds.

The midfielder broke the 15 year-old record in UAlbany all-time single-season points against Yale on Oct. 26. Heuser also ranks third all-time in career points with 114, in just her sophomore season. She concluded 2014 with 29 goals and 69 points to her credit.

Heuser is the first sophomore to garner the prestigious honor in the five-year history of the NFHCA National Player of the Year Award. All four previous awardees were in their final year of eligibility at their respective institutions. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

University of Albany Field Hockey's Heuser, Primus Garner NFHCA All-American Accolades - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany field hockey standouts Paula Heuser and Maxi Primus were named 2014 NFHCA All-Americans, the coaches association announced Monday. Primus earned a spot on the third team, while Heuser was the first Great Dane to be selected to the first team in the Division I era.

Heuser has garnered a number of postseason honors, and is a second-year All-American. The sophomore was named to the second team in 2013. The midfielder is the NFHCA Northeast Region Player of the Year, and earned NCAA All-Tournament honors following UAlbany’s run to the NCAA Semifinals. She is a two-time NFHCA All-Region first team pick, as well as the two-time America East Midfielder of the Year.

Heuser was the America East Tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer after recording an all-time tournament record nine points in two games. The sophomore led the league in points per game and goals per game throughout the regular season, and topped the nation in both categories entering the NCAA First and Second Rounds. The midfielder broke the 15 year-old record in UAlbany all-time single-season points against Yale on Oct. 26. Heuser also ranks third all-time in career points with 114, in just her sophomore season. She concluded 2014 with 29 goals and 69 points to her credit.

Primus was an NFHCA All-Region first team selection, after posting 20 wins in her sophomore season. She was the America East Goalkeeper of the Year after ranking top-10 in the nation throughout the season in goals against average and save percentage. She shutout two nationally ranked opponents in No. 8 Stanford (Sept. 14) and No. 20 Maine (Oct. 25). The sophomore was a four-time America East Defensive Player of the Week awardee and has garnered the weekly honor six times in her career. Primus was also an America East All-Tournament team selection.

With 20 wins and 10 shutouts to her credit this season, she is the all-time winningest single-season goalkeeper in UAlbany program history, and tops the UAlbany Division I ranks in single-season shutouts.

This is the second consecutive season Phil Sykes has had two players named NFHCA All-Americans. Heuser is the second Division I Great Dane to earn All-American honors in consecutive seasons. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

University of Albany Field Hockey's Heuser, Nicklin Named to NCAA Field Hockey All-Tournament Team - UAlbany Sports

Courtesy: UA Sports

COLLEGE PARK, MD. – Sophomore midfielder Paula Heuser and senior midfielder Amy Nicklin were named to the 2014 NCAA Field Hockey All-Tournament Team, the association announced on Sunday afternoon.

Heuser concluded her season as the new UAlbany single-season points record holder with 69. The sophomore is also the all-time single-season leader in goals with 29, en route to being named the America East Midfielder of the Year for the second time. A two-time NFHCA All-Region First Team selection, Heuser was also the Northeast Region Player of the Year and the America East Tournament Most Outstanding Performer.

Nicklin was named the primary senior captain in the preseason, and went on to score two goals with six assists. The senior was an important part of UAlbany’s press on the outside throughout the year, and earned America East All-Conference Second Team honors. In addition to her NCAA All-Tournament selection, she was also an America East All-Tournament pick.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

University of AlbanyFootball Caps 2014 Season With 27-17 Triumph Over Stony Brook - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UA Sports

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Capping his tenure with a career-long 68-yard touchdown run in the closing minutes of Saturday’s in-state rivalry game versus Stony Brook, redshirt senior running back Omar Osbourne led the University at Albany football team to a 27-17 victory over the visiting Seawolves. With the win, UAlbany finished its first season under Head Coach Greg Gattuso with a 7-5 overall record and 3-5 mark in the CAA. Meanwhile, Stony Brook dropped to 5-7 on the season and 4-4 in conference play.

“He made a lot of hard runs and that was a reward for all those hard runs,” said Head Coach Greg Gattuso on Osbourne’s touchdown scamper. “He punishes guys when he runs. Tonight the defense was playing well and he just kept beating on them, and beating on them, and beating on them.”

Osbourne totaled 166 rushing yards and a touchdown in his final game donning purple and gold, carrying the ball 24 times. With 3,229 career rushing yards, Osbourne ends his tenure ranked third all-time in UAlbany’s archives.

Entering Saturday’s clash tied for the all-time passing yards record, redshirt senior Will Fiacchi totaled 135 passing yards and a touchdown, taking sole possession of first-place all-time and raising the record to 7,150 yards. In addition, he broke Dan Di Lella's single-season passing record, totalling 2,636 yards this fall. Fiacchi completed 12-of-27 passes against the Seawolves, including a 33-yard touchdown toss to fellow redshirt senior Cole King.

King led the receiving corps with five catches and 72 receiving yards, ending his career ranked second all-time for receptions (148) receiving yards (2,217), and touchdown catches (18) at UAlbany.

True freshman wide receiver Josh Gontarek recorded his first rushing touchdown of his career on a 13-yard run, while also snagging three receptions for a total of 14 yards. He finished his rookie campaign with a team-high nine touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Brad Harris also had three catches, accruing 33 yards.

Defensively, junior Kyle Sakowski led the Great Danes with two interceptions and a fumble force and recovery. In addition, he added four tackles, including one for a loss. Redshirt sophomore Michael Nicastro recorded a game-high 10 tackles (4 solo) and also had an interception, while T.J. Idowu followed with eight tackles (4 solo).

After celebrating the squad’s 13 seniors prior to kickoff, UAlbany and Stony Brook went toe-to-toe in the opening stanza, as neither team was able to break onto the board.

With a wintery mix falling from the sky, both teams had trouble hanging onto the ball throughout the game as each squad recovered two fumbles in the contest. Stony Brook fumbled the opening kickoff but was still able to recover.

UAlbany fumbled and lost the ball at midfield on their second drive with just over eight minutes left in the first quarter, but the Great Dane defense limited the Seawolves to a 32-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide right, leaving the game scoreless heading to the second quarter.

UAlbany broke the silence with 8:06 remaining in the second, when Fiacchi found King in the end zone with a 33-yard pass. King fought off his defender and won the jump ball, giving the Great Danes a 7-0 head start following Patrick Toole’s point-after. 

UAlbany’s defense stepped up on the next drive, forcing a three-and-out with back-to-back sacks, setting the Seawolves back 16-yards. However on the punt, Stony Brook recovered a fumble on the catch and took over on the UAlbany-16 yard line. Again, though, the Danes’ defense limited the damage stalling the offense and forcing a 33-yard field goal. Przemyslaw Popek’s successful kick made the score 7-3 with 4:50 left in the half.

That’s where the score stayed at the break after a pair of turnovers amounted to nothing on the board. With 1:15 on the clock Sakowski ripped the ball out of the hands of Stony Brook running back Stacey Bedell on the first play of the drive, and recovered it on the SBU-38. However, the Seawolves held UAlbany off, picking off Fiacchi’s pass at the 13-yard line with 30 seconds left in the half.

While UAlbany was forced to punt in its first possession out of the break, the Danes forced back-to-back turnovers that led to six straight points for the hosts. On Stony Brook’s first possession, Sakowski again put the ball back into the hands of the Great Danes’ offense as he intercepted Conor Bednarski’s pass at the UAlbany-42.

UAlbany turned the miscue into points, driving 48-yards on 10 plays to set up Toole’s 28-yard field goal that gave the Danes a 10-3 lead at the 6:29 mark.

Two plays later, the Great Dane defense stripped the ball away from the Seawolves again, as Samuel Gray hit quarterback John kinder knocking the ball loose and into the hands of Neil Morrison at the SBU-26.

Toole’s 39-yard field from the resulting possession gave UAlbany a 13-3 advantage with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter.

To start the fourth quarter, the Seawolves barked first, driving 95-yards after Jon Martin’s season-long 72-yard punt pinned the Seawolves on the five. Using just three plays to cover the distance, Kinder connected a 79-yard touchdown pass to Adrian Coxson, cutting the margin to three, 13-10, with 14:13 to go.

However, the Great Danes answered immediately, using a steady running attack to cover 76-yard on 11 plays. Osbourne wore down the defense with six straight carries for a gain of 35 yards and Gontarek capped the drive with a 13-yard scamper into the end zone, giving UAlbany a 20-10 lead with 8:11 remaining.

Stony Brook battled back, scoring a touchdown of their own on Marcus Coker’s 2-yard run, cutting the deficit to three points again, 20-17, with 5:00 minutes remaining.

That’s when Osbourne took the game into his own hands. Getting the ball three straight times, the Syracuse, N.Y. native broke free for a career-long 68-yard touchdown run, giving the Danes some breathing room. Toole’s point-after made the score 27-17.

Beginning to march down the field, Stony Brook made it to the UAlbany-26 yard line before Nicastro picked off Kinder’s pass at the 17 and returned it 14 yards to the 31-yard line.

While the Danes were forced to punt with 28 seconds remaining, Sakowski sealed the victory, picking off Stony Brook’s Hail Mary pass in the closing seconds.

Stony Brook entered the game as the top-ranked defense in the conference, allowing an average of just 14.3 points and 104.7 rushing yards per game. In the win, UAlbany almost doubled those numbers with 27 points and 215 rushing yards, totaling 350 yards of offense.

The win snapped UAlbany’s two-game skid to the Seawolves including last year's 24-3 loss on Long lsland and 2011’s 31-28 FCS playoff slip.

“This game, we were ready,” said Fiacchi. “We knew that we were going to lay it all on the line and there was no way they were going to be tougher than us this time.” 

UAlbany’s 7-5 overall record marks the 12th winning season in the Danes’ Division I history (16 years) and 27th winning season in varsity history (42 years).

Friday, November 21, 2014

University of Albany Field Hockey’s Historic Run Ends in NCAA Semifinal 1-0 Loss to Defending Champion No. 3 UConn - UAlbany Sports 2014



Courtesy: UA Sports

COLLEGE PARK, Md.- The University at Albany field hockey team (20-3) capped a record season on Friday night, falling 1-0 to UConn in the NCAA Semifinal. The Huskies scored less than five minutes into the first half, advancing to the NCAA Final to face Syracuse.

“For teams I think the cold was a challenge, but as the game settled down it was a good game,” said head coach Phil Sykes. “We were unlucky not to tie it up. We started off the year thinking we had a pretty good team, and as we’ve gone on it’s just escalated to a dream-like season.”

The Huskies took the ball baseline early on to score. Chrissy Davidson may or may not have hit the ball out of bounds, but her pass found Chloe Hunnable for the lead. UAlbany’s defense asked for a video review, but the review was inconclusive. The Huskies were awarded their goal, but UAlbany also did not lose its video challenge for the half.

The offense showed resiliency soon after, earning a corner nine minutes into the game. A Paula Heuser shot resulted in a UConn defensive save on the play. Pahila Arnold followed up with a look of her own, but Nina Klein came out to make the save.

The Huskies continued to fade five minutes later, as UConn was assessed a yellow card. UAlbany couldn’t convert on the extra-player opportunity mid-way through the half.

On another penalty corner late in the opening period, Heuser again had her shot saved on the line by a UConn defender. The Great Danes held a 9-4 advantage on shots and 2-0 edge in penalty corners at the break.

The cards continued to fly to open the second half. UConn was assessed a green card, good for two minutes with a player up for UAlbany. Moments after that penalty was released, the Huskies took a sideline seat for another five-minute yellow.

Anna Bottino had the only look on net for UAlbany in the second half, less than 10 minutes in. In the only other shot of the game, UConn hit the crossbar with seven minutes remaining in regulation.

Goalkeeper Maxi Primus exited the game to make way for an extra offensive player with 5:35 left on the clock, but came up empty-handed.

The Great Danes concluded their season at 20-3, earning the University’s first all-time appearance in an NCAA Semifinal. Phil Sykes’s squad won a single-season field hockey program-record 20 wins en route to its fourth America East title. The Purple & Gold won the program’s first NCAA Tournament game in a 2-1 win against Wake Forest in the First Round. UAlbany also ousted No. 2 Maryland in the Second Round.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

#12 University of Albany Field Hockey Earns First Final Four Semifinal Berth in 2-1 Win Over No. 2 Maryland - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports

COLLEGE PARK, Md.- In a season for the record books, No. 12 University at Albany kept the dream alive on Sunday afternoon. The Great Danes (20-2) downed the favored home team, No. 2 Maryland 2-1 to advance to the NCAA Tournament Semifinals. UAlbany faces UConn (18-3) in the semifinals in College Park on Friday, Nov. 21 at 4:45 p.m.

“It has been an unbelievable season, and I was curious after our win yesterday if we were going to have the energy to get through this one [against Maryland],” said head coach Phil Sykes. “I was blown away by our kids’ belief in themselves…We play a different style of hockey, and we knew if we could defend well we could counter with our speed and skill. The big key was getting our team to believe, and they did.”

Prior to the 2:00 p.m., contest on Maryland’s home field, the Terrapins were 22-1 at home in the NCAA Tournament all-time. No. 2 Maryland was the highest-ranked opponent UAlbany has ever defeated, and Phil Sykes’s 2014 squad downed the Terrapins for the first time all-time.

Both teams started the game slowly, as the contest went without a shot or a penalty corner for the first 10 minutes. But the Great Danes earned the first penalty corner of the game at the 10:37 mark.

A shot from Pahila Arnold was blocked in front of the cage on the penalty corner, but UAlbany charged back to take another penalty corner.

A Jordyn Homyak tackle on the Maryland counterattack put the Great Danes back in its offensive half. The Purple & Gold got out to an early 3-0 advantage on penalty corners.

On UAlbany’s fourth unanswered penalty corner, Paula Heuser had a shot saved, but the rebound fell to Echo Bretz. The senior forward hit the post before finding the back of the cage in the 19th minute.

Maryland did not go away quietly, as the Terps earned its first penalty corner with 10 minutes left in the first half. Maxi Primus slid across the line to make the save on a tough Maryland shot.

At halftime, UAlbany held a 5-2 advantage in penalty corners and 8-5 edge in shots against the No. 1 offense in the nation.

The Terrapins came out fired up in the second half, looking to score immediately to open the period. But the Great Danes only added to their lead on a penalty corner. On an insert from Fiori Van Rijswijk, Laura Page stopped and faked to Heuser. Arnold came in for the strike on the left side to take a 2-0 lead.

Shortly after, Maryland began threatening on the offensive end. Sykes called timeout to regroup after the Terrapins had an attempt called off the scoreboard.

On a Maryland penalty corner shortly after, the Terrapins couldn’t keep the insert down to get a shot off at the top of the circle.

The Great Danes streaked down the field to earn a penalty corner of its own. After one of the Terrapin defenders released early, Maryland was down to three backs in the cage.

A Paula Heuser shot was blocked from the top of the circle, and Maryland looked to use its speed on the break. The Terrapins had a five-on-three advantage, but Jordyn Homyak swept through to thwart the attempt.

Maryland kept knocking on the door, but another game-changing defensive save from Homyak in the NCAA Second Round kept the lead alive.

Terrapin head coach Missy Meharg called timeout to pull goalkeeper Brooke Cabrera with 8:22 remaining.

With a one-player advantage, Maryland kept possession in UAlbany’s end. The Great Danes looked to keep the pressure up, but the Terrapins squeaked one by with under seven minutes to go. UAlbany held on for its first win over Maryland all-time.

Goalkeeper Maxi Primus held the No. 1 offense in the nation (4.15 goals per game) to one goal. The sophomore tied a career high with seven saves.

“We knew this was going to be a big game,” said Primus. “We told ourselves, we just want to enjoy this. No one expects us to win, and we want to have fun. We know when we play our game, we can win.”

UAlbany field hockey is the first Great Dane squad all-time to advance to an NCAA Semifinal. The Great Danes earned their first program NCAA Tournament victory yesterday in a 2-1 win against ACC Champion Wake Forest. UAlbany is on a 14-game winning streak in its first 20-win season all-time.

Phil Sykes’s squad meets defending NCAA Champion UConn in the semifinal on Friday, Nov. 21 at 4:45 p.m. The Purple & Gold is the only unseeded team remaining in the tournament field. The other semifinal features North Carolina vs. Syracuse at 2:00 p.m.

University of Albany Women's Basketball Earns Hallmark Victory with 54-53 Win at Penn State, Richards Joins 1,000-Point Club - UAlbany Sports 2014

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – With Shereesha Richards earning 27 points and 14 boards and Sarah Royals hitting the game-winning free throw with 8.4 seconds left, the UAlbany women’s basketball team defeated three-time defending Big Ten regular season champion Penn State 54-53 to advance to the Preseason WNIT semifinals.

This marks the first victory for the UAlbany women’s basketball team (2-0) against a Power Five conference opponent.  It also is the first victory for an America East team over a Big Ten opponent.

“I am very proud of our team, they came in here with no fear,” said UAlbany coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “We are returning four starters, and [Carter] played very well.  They are workhorses and fighters, and as a coach, that is what you want.  They executed everything we asked them to do.”

With the game tied 53-53 with 8.4 seconds left, Royals drove into the paint and got fouled by Tori Waldner in the act of shooting for two free throw attempts.  Royals hit the front end to put UAlbany ahead 54-53.  Penn State (1-1), after having a transition play stopped by Tiana-Jo Carter knocking the ball out of bounds, got an inbounds pass underneath their basket with 3.7 seconds left.  Candice Agee, double teamed by UAlbany, threw up a jumper and hit the iron.  Imani Tate grabbed the rebound as the clock expired.

“I was very confident stepping onto the line,” said Royals. “It is something I have thought about before, and luckily I got one of them to go.  We had a great defense tonight; we stopped them in transition and with boxouts.”

Richards earned her first double-double of the year, earning half the team’s points with 27, adding 14 rebounds and three steals.  16 of her points came in the second half.  Her layup with 11:47 left in  the second half made her a member of the 1,000-point club, the 10th UAlbany player to achieve that feat.

“I am proud of my team, we worked very hard and we deserved to win,” said Richards. “We knew we had to rebound and push in transition, we came in and did our job.”

UAlbany outrebounded Penn State 49-31 in the game, including 20-7 on offensive boards.  Tate led all players in the game with a career-high 15 rebounds, tallying six points and three steals.  Carter had six points, 11 rebounds and two blocks while Royals finished with seven points and five assists.

UAlbany advances to the Preseason WNIT Semifinals and will play the winner of Colorado-Western Kentucky, which will be determined on Monday, on Thursday, November 20th.

For the Nittany Lions, Lindsay Spann scored 14 points and four assists, while Jenny DeGraaf was 4-for-4 from the three-point line for 12 points.

Using their size, Penn State got the early advantage, with a Lindsey Spann elbow three capping a 7-0 run for the home team.  Margarita Rosario ended the streak with a corner three with a Penn State player leaping at her.  With Carter blocking a shot the other way, Richards added a free throw to pull UAlbany within 7-4.

UAlbany tried to use pressure defense to hold Penn State away from the paint.  At 14-8, Richards threw up a floater for the score, then Tate made a jump step to get past two defenders for the uncontested layup.  Richards added two free throws, then following Carter drawing two charges, Richards hit another layup to complete the 8-0 run to put UAlbany ahead 16-14.

Penn State went back up on a basket and one from Kaliyah Mitchell.  UAlbany held on defense as Richards hit another floater to put UAlbany back ahead.  The Great Danes held Penn State without a field goal for a period of four-and-a-half minutes, with a Zakiya Saunders long jumper pushing the lead to 22-19 UAlbany.

The end of the half saw back-and-forth action from both sides.  Royals kept getting to the free throw line, while Penn State hit a couple of baskets.  Following a Waldner three to take the lead, Richards went the other way and scored on a fastbreak layup to tie the game at 28-28, the eventual halftime score.

Penn State got the first two baskets in the second half to lead.  UAlbany focused on the paint and stayed close, until with 13:02 left in the 2nd, Rosario took the kick out three and nailed it from the elbow to send UAlbany ahead 37-36.  Penn State tied it with a free throw.  On the next possession, Carter put back a Richards miss to put the Great Danes back up 39-37 with under 12 minutes left.

The defensive battle continued as the sides exchanged points.  With 11:47 left in the 2nd, Richards hit the layup to stamp her place in the 1,000-point club.  Penn State took the lead on a Sierra Moore layup, then Richards tied it on free throws.  On UAlbany’s next chance, Richards drew the double team to free Carter, who hit the layup for the UAlbany lead 47-45.

The exchanges continued as DeGraaf hit a wing three to send the home team up by one.  Richards again hit a layup to put UAlbany up, adding another to make it a three-point game.  Moore hit a jumper from the free throw line to make it 51-50 UAlbany with four minutes left.

Each side missed its shots for the following two minutes as UAlbany held the lead.  Richards hit the layup with 1:46 left to put it back to three.  The other way, DeGraaf hit a three to tie the game.  Penn State got a jump ball for possession, with Waldner missing a jumper and Rosario getting the rebound.

UAlbany turned the ball over, but Penn State tried to throw a pass the other way, seeing Tate stealing the ball with 16.5 seconds left.  UAlbany called timeout with 16.5 seconds left.  Trying to set up to Richards, Royals went to the hole and looked for the layup, getting fouled with 8.4 seconds left.  Royals hit the first free throw and missed the second, resulting in a Penn State rebound.  The Nittany Lions threw pass towards the backcourt, with Carter knocking in out of bounds with 3.7 seconds remaining.  Penn State called timeout to strategize.

On the final play, Penn State inbounded to Agee outside the paint.  UAlbany double teamed her, forcing a high and wide shot.  Tate grabbed the rebound and the clock expired, sending UAlbany to victory 54-53 over Penn State.

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