Women's Basketball Falls At UMBC 63-60
BALTIMORE – The University at Albany women’s basketball program (15-11, 9-4 AE) took its season-high six game winning streak on the road Wednesday for a rematch with UMBC (14-12, 9-4 AE), who earlier this season ended UAlbany’s 24-game winning streak at SEFCU Arena. The Retrievers ended the Danes’ win streak, outlasting UAlbany 63-60.
“Tonight was a tough loss, but we’re looking forward to getting back home for senior night on Saturday,” said head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee.
The Great Danes opened the game on a 6-0 run before UMBC hit a three-pointer to get on the scoreboard. After the run the teams traded points until the media timeout which did not come until 1:45 remaining in the quarter, at which point UAlbany still led by six. Redshirt junior Jessica Féquière had scored eight of UAlbany’s 15 points through the first eight minutes of the game, and the Danes had collectively pulled down 10 rebounds to the Retriever’s five.
The Danes’ lead opened up a brief eight-point lead after the media timeout, and headed into the second quarter up 19-11. UAlbany had assisted on six of its nine made field goals, and had shot 50% from the floor in the first quarter.
Freshman and Baltimore native Khepera Stokes gave UAlbany its first 10-point lead of the night right at the beginning of the second quarter with a layup from the left side. UMBC responded with back-to-back threes to cut the lead to four. Féquière drew a foul and hit both free throws to stretch the lead back to six.
UMBC came within five before UAlbany went on an 8-1 run to open a 14-point lead. By the end of the first half, UAlbany led 35-25, having held UMBC to 4-13 shooting in the second quarter.
The Great Danes outscored the Retrievers 14-4 in points in the paint, 14-4 in points off of turnovers, 10-2 in fast break points, and 8-6 in bench points. UMBC led 2-0 in fast break points. Senior Imani Tate had scored 13 points in the first half, followed by Féquière with 10. Senior Bailey Hixson led the Danes with four rebounds, and redshirt-junior Bose Aiyalogbe led with three assists. UAlbany had shot 44.1% from the floor in the first half, compared to UMBC’s 26.9%.
UAlbany used a 7-3 run at the start of the third to open up a 42-28 lead. UMBC responded with a 10-0 run to bring the game within four with three minutes remaining in the quarter. A pair of free throws from UMBC’s Taylor McCarley tied the game at 42 with just over two minutes remaining. Tate finally scored with 1:30 left to end UMBC’s run at 14-0. UMBC responded with a three-point play to take their first lead of the game. The third quarter ended tied at 48.
UMBC had outscored UAlbany 23-13 in the third, shooting 50.0% from the floor while holding the Danes to 23.1% shooting. Tate had scored 21 points.
Scoring in the fourth quarter was even between the two teams, with UMBC holding a one-point advantage until the five minute mark when Stokes hit a layup to give UAlbany the lead. UMBC regained a one-point lead with just over four minutes remaining in the game.
Junior Tiana-Jo Carter gave UAlbany the lead with 2:20 to go. UMBC drew a foul on the ensuing possession, and converted both free throws to retake the lead. Féquière scored in the paint on the other end, before Carter rejected a UMBC layup out of bounds. The Retrievers scored on the inbounds play, and forced a tough shot for the Danes on their defensive end.
Holding a one-point lead, UMBC drew a foul with 51.5 left and converted one of two free throws to extend the lead to two. Féquière corralled a missed layup from Carter and drew a foul on her shot attempt with 36.9 remaining. Féquière missed the first but made the second to bring the game back within one.
With 33.3 seconds left, UMBC hit two free throws to extend the lead to three. UMBC drew a charge on Tate on the ensuing inbounds play to regain possession with 30.2 seconds left. A UAlbany turnover with 11.5 seconds left gave UMBC the ball still holding a three-point lead, but a tie-up on the inbounds play returned the ball to UAlbany with 9.3 seconds remaining. Féquière’s three-point attempt was tipped, and the offensive rebound was grabbed by the Retrievers, who held the ball until the clock hit zeroes, winning the game 63-60.
Tate led UAlbany with 21 points, matching UMBC’s McCarley to lead all scorers. Tate also led UAlbany with seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals. UAlbany led UMBC 20-18 in points in the paint, 21-11 in points off of turnovers, 17-8 in second chance points, 4-2 in fast break points, and 14-10 in bench points. The biggest scoring discrepancy came at the free throw line, where UAlbany shot 11-16 and UMBC shot 27-35.
Next, UAlbany will play its final home game of the regular season, celebrating the four seniors on the team Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. against Maine in the second of two regular season games between last year’s America East finalists.