Women’s Basketball Falls 69-61 At Dartmouth In Overtime
HANOVER, N.H. – The University at Albany women’s basketball program (6-7) visited Dartmouth (5-7) Thursday evening. Despite leading for most of the game, the Great Danes fell to the Big Green in overtime by a score of 69-61.
Sophomore Chyanna Canada made her long-awaited debut for the Great Danes, scoring the first two points of the game on a jumper from the right elbow, and then immediately jumping into a passing lane on the defensive end to steal the ball from the Big Green. By the first media timeout, UAlbany held a 13-6 lead.
“I think this was an eye-opening game for Chyanna,” said head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee. “Tonight was her first time on the floor in a couple years, so I think she sees that the pace of the game is pretty fast and up-tempo, and that’s something she’s going to have to really work hard on as conference play gets started.”
The first quarter ended with the Great Danes holding a nine-point lead, 21-12. The Big Green opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run with a pair of threes in the first four minutes, cutting the lead to three. Senior Bailey Hixson finally scored for the Great Danes with a three of her own after the team had suffered a scoring drought of more than four minutes to open the quarter. Dartmouth cut the lead to two with just over two minutes remaining, before redshirt-junior Jessica Féquière scored a layup off a quick pass from the free throw line from freshman center Alexi Schecter.
“I thought our defense in the first quarter, in our man-to-man, was as good as we’ve played all season,” said Coach Mac. “But, as good as it was in the first quarter is as bad as it was down the stretch, especially in transition.”
Despite bringing the game within two once more, Dartmouth was unable to capitalize on its run, with UAlbany taking a six-point, 34-28 lead into halftime. Tate and Féquière paced the Great Danes with eight points each, followed by Hixson with seven, and freshman guard Khepera Stokes, who was making her first career start, with six. Hixson led the team in rebounds with four, and Stokes led in assists with three. The Great Danes outscored Dartmouth 12-6 in the paint. Dartmouth held advantages of 9-5 in second chance points and 14-3 in bench points. The teams were tied at eight in points off of turnovers, and at two in fast break points.
A 5-0 run to open the third quarter saw Dartmouth cut the lead to one, before Tate scored a jumper to bring the lead back to three. Tate’s field goal kicked off a 6-0 run for the Great Danes, who opened up a 40-33 lead.
Dartmouth tied the game at 44 on a three-pointer with 3:15 left in the third. UAlbany responded immediately with a two-point jumper on the other end. The Great Danes ended the quarter on a 5-0 run to enter the fourth with a 49-44 lead. Through three, Tate, Féquière, and Stokes had each scored in double-figures.
UAlbany’s run continued into the fourth quarter, ultimately capping at 8-0. A quick 6-0 run by the Big Green brought the game back within two. After a brief back-and-forth, Dartmouth hit a three to come within one with 2:30 remaining.
With 10.2 seconds remaining, Dartmouth hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 54. UAlbany was unable to hit a last-second shot, and headed into its fourth overtime of the season. The Great Danes did not hit a field goal in the final 8:48 of regulation, and scored only five points in the fourth quarter.
Dartmouth struck first in overtime with a quick three-pointer, taking its first lead since 8:08 left in the first quarter. With 2:38 left in overtime, Dartmouth had extended the lead to six. The Great Danes came no closer for the remainder of the game, ultimately falling by a score of 69-61.
Féquière led the team with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and three additional Great Danes, Tate, Hixson, and Stokes, who scored a career-high 13, scored in double figures. Stokes also led the team with four assists. UAlbany outscored Dartmouth 24-12 in points in the paint, 14-11 in second chance points, and 6-4 in fast break points. Dartmouth held the advantage in points off of turnovers 20-18, and 26-7 in bench points. Both teams surpassed their fourth quarter point totals in the overtime period. Dartmouth led for just 5:08 of the game.
The Great Danes conclude their 13-game non-conference schedule with a 6-7 record, and close December going 3-3. The team remains unbeaten in five games this season at SEFCU Arena, but has just one win away from home.
Next, the Great Danes will host UMass Lowell on January 4, marking the start of the conference schedule. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
“I think across the board, the conference looks very even from top to bottom,” said Coach Mac. “It’s going to be a war every night. I’m hoping the familiarity that conference opponents afford brings more confidence to the team, because right now we aren’t playing with the confidence we need to play with.”