Women's Basketball Aiming for a Repeat Trip to the Big Dance
THE STARTING FIVE1. The Game
UAlbany hosts Hartford in the America East Conference Championship. The Great Danes, who were the regular season champions for the first time in program history, ended the regular season as the lone undefeated team in league play. UAlbany swept the Hartford in the season series, posting a 55-48 win in overtime in Albany before recording a 66-55 win in West Hartford.
2. Scouting UAlbany
The Great Danes stand at 26-3 on the season with an unblemished 16-0 league record, after posting a 71-57 win over New Hampshire in the conference semifinals. UAlbany has now won 18 straight, and is defeating America East opponents by 23.8 points. Three-time Defensive Player of the Year and 2013 Co-Player of the Year Ebone Henry has continued to show why she has earned that title, as she has recorded a team-high 81 steals - including a season-high eight against BU - while also scoring at a team-best 14.1 clip. Julie Forster is pulling down a team-best 8.3 caroms per game, while also chipping in with 9.3 points. The Great Danes have a quartet of players averaging double-digit scoring totals, led by Henry, and followed by Megan Craig (10.4), Lindsey Lowrie (10.4), and Shereesha Richards (10.1).
3. Bringing Home the Hardware
The Great Danes cleaned house at the 2013 America East Conference Awards Reception, held on Thursday evening. Senior Ebone Henry earned her third straight Defensive Player of the Year honor, and was also named Co-Player of the Year along with Boston U.’s Chantell Alford. Joining Henry on the First Team & All-Defensive Team is senior Julie Forster, who also earned All-Academic Team honors. Shereesha Richards took home Co-Rookie of the Year accolades, sharing the award with Maine’s Liz Wood, while Megan Craig and Lindsey Lowrie were named to the All-Conference Third Team. Great Dane mentor Katie Abrahamson-Henderson was a unanimous selection as Coach of the Year after guiding UAlbany to just the 7th undefeated league slate in America East history.
4. Breaking Down the Title Game
For the 12th time in 28 America East Conference Women’s Basketball Championships, the No. 1 (UAlbany) and No. 2 (Hartford) seeds will square off in the title game. The Hawks used a strong defensive performance to beat No. 6 seed Vermont, 64-33, while UAlbany defeated New Hampshire, 71-57. UAlbany looks to be the eighth team in conference history to win back-to-back titles. With a championship win, the Great Danes would be the first team to go undefeated in regular and postseason America East play since Maine accomplished it in 1996.
5. The Perfect Conference Season
For the first time in program history, the University at Albany women’s basketball team completed a perfect America East record. UAlbany closed out the regular season by defeating Stony Brook at SEFCU Arena on Saturday, March 2, 60-49. The win extended the Great Danes to 16-0 in America East play. They became the seventh team in conference history to finish unbeaten. They’ve won 27 straight games against America East opponents, including postseason.