Women's Basketball Falls In OT At Yale, 64-53
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Playing on the road for the second consecutive game, the University at Albany (3-5) women’s basketball program fell to Yale (7-2) Saturday in overtime 64-53.
“I think we crashed the offensive boards pretty hard tonight,” said head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee. “But we’re going to find it hard to win if we don’t improve our offensive production. We just had a hard time making the ball drop.”
The Great Danes used their fifth different starting lineup in eight games so far this season. Despite the variation in the lineup through the first part of the season, redshirt junior Jessica Féquière and freshman Mackenzie Trpcic have each started all eight games, lending the team a sense of stability.
Yale opened the game with two three pointers, quickly taking a 6-2 lead over UAlbany. After the Bulldogs took a 10-4 lead, both offenses entered a scoring drought, which UAlbany final broke nearly two and a half minutes later. Yale had led by as m any as 10 points but UAlbany had cut the deficit to just five, trailing 18-13 by the end of the quarter.
The Great Danes scored just eight points in the second quarter, but managed to hold Yale to just 11, and entered halftime trailing Yale 29-21. The scoring droughts that were a nuisance for both teams in the first quarter were amplified in the second, with the first basket not coming until nearly three minutes had elapsed. In fact, eight of the 18 total points scored in the second quarter were scored in the final two minutes.
Scoring through the first half for UAlbany was spread fairly evenly, with Féquière leading the way with five, and senior Bailey Hixson, redshirt junior Bose Aiyalogbe, and freshman Alexi Schecter each scoring four. Aiyalogbe and freshman Khepera Stokes had each grabbed four rebounds, and Trpcic had three assists.
The Great Danes opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run, cutting Yale’s lead to 29-28, and forcing five turnovers in the process. The UAlbany defense managed to hold Yale without a point for the first 5:20 of the quarter, before Yale hit a floater in the paint to extend the lead back to three. Senior Cassandra Edwards responded immediately with an elbow jumper, before Yale immediately hit a three on the other side. Yale ended the quarter on a 4-0 run to take a 40-34 lead into the fourth.
The Great Danes and Bulldogs traded points through the early part of the fourth quarter, with UAlbany managing to cut slimly into Yale’s lead by the halfway point. A quick jumper from Stokes immediately following the media timeout cut the lead further to two.
With three minutes to go the Bulldogs had extended their lead back to six. The Great Danes had cut it to three with a minute remaining, and further to one with 43.3 remaining on a pair of free throws by Féquière. A UAlbany foul underneath their defensive basket on an offensive rebound for Yale turned into two points for the Bulldogs from the line, extending the lead to 51-48 with under 20 seconds remaining.
Féquière hit a desperation three from the top of the logo with five seconds remaining to tie the game at 51. On the ensuing inbounds play, the Great Danes drew a charge with two seconds left to give themselves a final chance to win the game in regulation. Féquière’s last-second three bounced off the rim, and the Great Danes were headed into their third overtime in four games. UAlbany outscored Yale 17-11 in the fourth quarter.
Halfway through overtime Yale had built a one-point lead, which grew to three after a pair of free throws. UAlbany kept extending its chances by effectively crashing the offensive boards. A three pointer pushed Yale’s lead to six with under a minute remaining in overtime, and a pair of free throws saw the lead grow to eight. UAlbany now trailed 61-53 with 34.6 remaining. UAlbany would get no closer, and the final score settled at 64-53 in favor of Yale.
Féquière led the team in scoring with a career-high 20, and rebounding with 10. Trpcic had three assists. Each Dane who played scored points and grabbed at least one rebound. The Great Danes as a team cut down on their turnovers from their previous games, forcing more from Yale than they committed themselves.
“I thought we played hard enough to win,” said Coach Mac. “At times, our man looked good . But offensively we need to find some continuity and consistency.
UAlbany outscored Yale in points off of turnovers 19-6, second chance points 11-7, fast break points 4-2, and bench points 17-10. Yale held the advantage in points in the paint, 30-22.
“The good thing about basketball is that there isn’t time to hang your head after a loss,” said Coach Mac. “You have to move on to the next game, and take everything you learned from each loss and apply it to your next game so you can come out with a win.”
Next up for the Great Danes is a return to SEFCU Arena on Tuesday to host Fairfield. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.