Women’s Basketball Holds On To Win Home Opener vs. Army 65-59
ALBANY, N.Y. – Returning home after opening the season with two consecutive games on the road, the University at Albany women’s basketball team looked to notch its first win as it hosted Army West Point in the home opener. After building a double-digit lead, the Great Danes found themselves in a nail-biter as the game came to a close, ultimately defeating the Black Knights by a score of 65-59.
“It’s nice to get a win the first time at home this year,” said head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee. “I think that Army played outstanding. That was a little bit of an ugly win, but I’m excited to learn from that as opposed to it being a loss.”
Both teams started the game out of sync, with only 10 total points scored between the Great Danes and the Black Knights by the first media time out. Eight total fouls had been called during this time as well, making for a stop-and-start game that inhibited either team to find their rhythm.
Leading 6-4 at the first break, the Great Danes scored five quick points to take an 11-4 lead within a minute of the timeout. Ultimately, UAlbany ended the quarter on an 11-4 run, taking at 17-8 lead into the second quarter.
The second quarter was more even, with UAlbany outscoring Army by only two points for the period, taking a 35-24 lead. Cassandra Edwards and Jessica Féquière paced the Danes with 10 points each through the first half, and the team as a whole shot 66.7% from the floor through the first two quarters. Defensively, UAlbany held army to 22.2% shooting in the first half.
By the end of the third quarter, three Great Danes, Edwards, Féquière, and Imani Tate had scored in double figures. The UAlbany lead had extended to 12.
In the fourth quarter, the Black Knights started chipping away, bringing the game to within five points with just over five minutes left, before Tate scored in the lane to extend the lead once more.
With three minutes left, the UAlbany lead had diminished to just three. Army’s seventh successful conversion in nine attempts then brought the lead to one.
Féquière hit one of two free throws to extend the lead back to two. Two series later, Stokes hit one of two to bring the lead to three. The Danes next forced a turnover under their own basket with sixteen seconds remaining.
Féquière hit two free throws to bring the lead to five and all but ice the game for UAlbany. Bose Aiyalogbe hit one more free throw, bringing the final score to 65-59. The Great Danes cooled off a bit in the second half, finishing the game shooting 51.1% from the field. Defensively, the team held up, allowing Army to shoot just 29.9%.
“I thought our man-to-man at time throughout the game looked good,” said Coach Mac. “We had a hard time keeping the ball out of the high post, and I think that’s where a lot of their offense stemmed from.”
“We have to work on being comfortable moving the ball,” Coach Mac continued, “and working as one unit. Really working as just one whole offensively, which I think is something we’re missing right now.”
Féquière led the team in scoring with a career-high 18 points, including her 100th career point on her first basket of the game. Edwards also had a career-high in points with 14 on 6-8 shooting, and Tate added 14 points of her own. Féquière and Aigalogbe led the team in rebounding with seven each, and Tate led in assists with six. The Great Danes out-rebounded the Black Knights 47-33, and blocked nine of Army’s shots. Army did not record a block in the game.
Next up for the Great Danes is another home game, Saturday, November 19 against former America East rival Boston University. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.