Women’s Basketball Earns First Road Win At Wagner
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The University at Albany women’s basketball program (5-5) has climbed back to .500 on the season after its second consecutive win, this time defeating Wagner (1-8) on the road by a score of 75-50. It was the Great Danes’ most lopsided victory of the season, and their first win on the road.
“I thought we came out focused in the first half,” said head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee. “Offensively, in the first half, I thought we moved the ball with purpose and, defensively, moved well and stuck to our plan.”
The Great Danes opened on an 8-0 run in the first two and a half minutes before Wagner scored its first points. The Seahawks then scored the next five to bring the game with in three. Senior Bailey Hixson scored her 100th career point with one minute remaining in the first quarter to give UAlbany a 22-9 lead. The score at the end of the first was 24-9 in favor of the Danes.
Junior Jessica Féquière scored her 200th career point on a fast break layup with 8:30 remaining in the second quarter, giving UAlbany a 29-9 lead, and capping a 5-0 run to start the second. Wagner responded shortly afterwards with an open three-pointer. The Great Danes held the Seahawks to just six points in the second quarter, taking a 42-15 lead into halftime. Féquière led the team with 17 points, just three off her career high. She also led the team with eight rebounds. Freshman guard Mackenzie Trpcic had eight assists.
Through the first half, UAlbany had outscored Wagner 20-6 in points in the paint, 17-0 in points off of turnovers, 6-2 in second chance points, 10-2 in fast break points, and 8-2 in points off the bench. The Great Danes had committed seven turnovers and forced 15, and had 12 assists on 16 field goals.
Féquière matched her career-high 20 points with a three-pointer 30 seconds into the third quarter. The Great Dane offense collectively cooled off somewhat during the first part of the quarter, scoring 12 points in eight minutes. Still, UAlbany ultimately outscored Wagner for the quarter 18-13, with Hixson hitting a three at the buzzer to give the Danes a 60-28 lead. Hixson’s last basket put her just one point behind her career-high of 17, which she set on Tuesday against Fairfield.
Wagner opened the fourth quarter on a 12-1 run over the first four minutes, forcing Coach Mac to call a timeout. The Seahawks had cut the lead to 61-40. The run extended to 13-1 after the timeout before UAlbany scored again on a layup by senior Cassandra Edwards.
Junior Bose Aiyalogbe scored back-to-back threes to give the Great Danes a 73-46 lead with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. She added two free throws to make it eight consecutive points. The final score was 75-50 in favor of UAlbany.
Four Great Danes scored in double figures. Aiyalogbe scored a career-high 13 points. Féquière and sophomore Heather Forster each tied their career-high with 20 and 11 points, respectively. And Hixson fell one point shy of her career-high with 16 points on the afternoon. Féquière led the team with a career-high 14 rebounds, and Trpcic led with a career-high 12 assists. Freshman Alexi Schecter also had a career-high five points.
“It was really the tale of two halves,” said Coach Mac. “I thought we came out a little lackadaisical in the second half, which is sometimes easy to do when you have a big lead. I’m a little disappointed in the way we defended in the second half, but happy to come out with a win.”
UAlbany outscored Wagner 34-12 in points in the paint, 24-8 in points off of turnovers, 15-4 in fast break points, and 15-2 in points off the bench. The teams tied in second chance points with nine apiece.
UAlbany returns to SEFCU for the final home game of 2016 and the non-conference schedule on Monday, December 12 to face Post University. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
“I hope for Monday we really concentrate on the areas where we need to improve," said Coach Mac.