Bill Ziskin

UMBC Ends Women's Basketball's 24-Game Home Win Streak, 64-56

UAlbany Sports Information   01-16-2017

ALBANY, N.Y. – Returning home after a one-game road trip, the University at Albany women’s basketball team (8-9, 2-2 AE) hosted UMBC (7-11, 2-3 AE) for its third conference home game in its first four.  The Great Danes fell to the Retrievers 64-56, ending the Danes’ 24-game home winning streak.

UMBC hadn’t beaten UAlbany since February 23, 2011, and hadn’t won in Albany since January 26, 2011.  Before tonight’s loss, UAlbany was 7-0 at home this season.

“It was a disappointing game,” said head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee.  “A disappointing effort on our end.  Credit to UMBC, they came with a lot of energy and played hard.”

After nearly 90 seconds of scoreless back-and-forth play, redshirt-junior Jessica Féquière scored the first points of the game with a three-pointer from the top right corner.  Senior Imani Tate scored a layup on the next possession from freshman Khepera Stokes, followed by another layup from senior Bailey Hixson to give the Great Danes a quick 7-0 lead.  UMBC started inching back, however, and by the first media timeout the Great Danes held a three-point, 10-7 lead.  Hixson had accounted for five of UAlbany’s points.

UMBC took its first lead with a minute to go in the first quarter, after forcing the Great Danes to commit four turnovers in the final four minutes.  The Retrievers ultimately held an 18-14 lead heading into the second.

“We didn’t do what we wanted to defensively,” said Coach Mac.  “We just needed to crash the boards harder, we needed to box out, we needed to make better decisions with the ball on the offensive end and force tempo instead of playing the tempo they dictated.”

UAlbany’s defense held UMBC to 1-7 shooting in the beginning of the second quarter, drawing the Retrievers’ lead to within one by the mid-way point.  Féquière gave the Great Danes the lead with three minutes remaining with a deep jumper from the left side.  The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter, with UMBC taking a 26-25 lead into halftime.

Féquière and Hixson led the Great Danes with seven points each.  Féquière and fellow redshirt-junior Bose Aiyalogbe led the team with five rebounds apiece.  And Stokes led the team with six assists.  As a team, the Great Danes led the Retrievers 12-8 in points in the paint, 11-6 in points off of turnovers, 4-3 in second chance points, 6-2 in fast break points, and 9-8 in bench points.  Despite trailing in all of these categories, as well as first half field goal percentage, UMBC held its narrow lead by virtue of its 50% shooting on three-point attempts (4-8) and its 100% shooting from the free throw line (4-4).

Tate, who only played five minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, scored immediately at the start of the third quarter to give UAlbany a one-point lead.  UMBC answered with a three-pointer on the other end, and soon reopened a six-point lead.

Hixson scored a three to put a stop to UMBC’s run and bring the game back within three.  On the following possession, Tate put back her own rebound to cut the lead to one, and then assisted on a Féquière layup to give UAlbany the lead once again.

By the mid-way point of the third quarter, UAlbany had matched and UMBC had surpassed their point totals from the second quarter.  After some more back-and-forth scoring, the Retrievers held a 44-42 lead at the end of the third.

With six minutes remaining in the game, UMBC had opened an eight-point lead as part of a 10-0 run.  Féquière hit a three from the top left corner with three minutes to go to bring the score within three.  The Great Danes pulled the game as close as five, but ultimately fell 64-56.

Féquière led UAlbany with 18 points and 13 rebounds.  Stokes led with nine assists, tying her career-high.  UAlbany led UMBC 16-10 in points off of turnovers, 13-9 in second chance points, and 8-2 in fast break points.  UMBC led 16-11 in bench points, and the teams tied 24-24 in points in the paint.

“Everything for us this year is a test,” said Coach Mac, “and right now we need to be a team that wins on the road.  We have to bounce back and move forward.”

Next, the Great Danes will kick off a two-game road trip starting Thursday, January 19 at Binghamton.  Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.  After, the team will visit Maine on Saturday, January 22 for a 2:00 p.m. tip in a rematch of last year’s America East title game.  The Danes will return home on Thursday, January 26 for a noon game against Vermont at which time the team will celebrate Commitment to Education Day.

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