Women's Basketball Earns Undefeated Non-Conference Home Record, Defeats Post 85-61
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany women’s basketball program (6-5) hosted Post University (1-9) in its final home game of 2016 and the final home non-conference game of the season on Monday. The Great Danes defeated the Eagles 85-61, climbing above .500 for the first time this season and capping off an undefeated home record in non-conference play.
“You love to get a win at home,” said head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee. “It might not have been the prettiest of wins, but a win is a win, and hopefully we learn from this and continue to get better each game.”
After winning the opening tip, reigning America East Player of the Week Jessica Féquière hit a quick three-pointer to kick things off for the Great Danes. A second three-pointer from freshman guard Mackenzie Trpcic capped off a 6-0 opening run for UAlbany.
With just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter, Féquière missed her first of a pair of free throws, her first miss since November against Army. Between misses, she had made 22 in a row, and her 96.4% was good for fourth in the country entering the game.
At the end of the first quarter, the Great Danes led 17-9.
Junior forward Tiana-Jo Carter had steals on consecutive plays late in the second quarter that turned into four straight points for UAlbany, extending the team’s lead to 31-18. This came in the middle of a 16-4 run by the Great Danes. After outscoring the Eagles 18-8 over the final 8:16 of the quarter, the Great Danes took a 41-23 lead into halftime. Féquière led the team with 16 points, and Trpcic had tied her career-high with 13 points. Carter led with four rebounds, and four players, Trpcic, Bose Aiyalogbe, Khepera Stokes, and Cassandra Edwards, each had two assists.
UAlbany led post 24-18 in points in the paint, 20-3 in points off of turnovers, 6-2 in fast break points, and 10-2 in bench points. Post held the advantage in second chance points, 4-3.
With a three-pointer at the midway point in the third quarter, Trpcic set a new career-high in points with 16. Féquière was fouled on a made jumper just beyond the elbow, and converted the free throw to set a new career-high of 21 points, her second consecutive game scoring 20 or more.
After three, UAlbany led 66-42.
Kicking off the fourth quarter, Aiyalogbe hit a running jumper from the left side for her 50th career field goal. On the next UAlbany possession, she hit a three-pointer, scoring five consecutive points and giving the Danes a 71-42 lead. UAlbany went on to win 85-61.
Féquière led the team with a career-high 23 points, followed by career-highs of 19 from Trpcic, and 11 from Alexi Schecter. Carter also scored in double-digits with 10 points. Carter and Edwards each had six rebounds, and Trpcic had six assists.
“Jess has been a really steady contributor for us,” said Coach Mac. “I think she’s growing more confident each game, which is exciting to see. Mack had 12 assists last game, but zero points, so we talked about increasing her scoring production to prevent teams from defending her as just a passer. She did that tonight with the 19 points and six assists, which was a really good outing for her.”
The team collectively committed a season-low 13 turnovers, while forcing 28. Trpcic shot 8-10 from the floor, including 3-4 from three. The Great Danes outscored the Eagles 48-36 in points in the paint, 34-7 in points off of turnovers, 10-4 in fast break points, and 30-4 in bench points. Both teams scored 18 second chance points.
UAlbany has now strung together a season-high three consecutive wins. The Great Danes will finish their non-conference schedule with two games on the road, starting Sunday at St. Bonaventure, and then December 29 at Dartmouth. The next home game will be January 4, when the team opens America East play hosting UMass Lowell.