Craig’s Historic 33-Point Day Leads UAlbany to 75-66 Win at Northeastern
BOSTON – Megan Craig’s 33-point day, the third-highest single game total in UAlbany women’s basketball history, helped the Great Danes earn a 75-66 road win over Northeastern on Saturday afternoon.
“We earned a hard fought victory, playing as a team,” says UAlbany head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “Megan [Craig] was a force to be reckoned with today.”
Craig shot 13-18 from the field for UAlbany (10-3), concluding with 33 points and eight rebounds. Her single game point total is tied for third all-time in UAlbany history behind a pair of 36-point performances by Jen Schumacher (2005) and Cindy Werner (1978). It is also the highest single game point total in the America East so far this season.
“We earned an important victory with a lot of fight and strong communication,” says Craig. “I found my zone today, stayed in control and played with confidence.”
Sarah Royals scored 15 points in the game, going 11-14 from the free throw line. Shereesha Richards had 13 points and six boards, while Tammy Phillip matched a career-high 13 rebounds, adding seven points and five assists.
For Northeastern (6-7), Jewel Tunstull had a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds. A’Lece Mark scored 18 points with five assists in her first game in almost a month.
The early part of the game saw Craig and Tunstull battling in the paint. Craig scored four of UAlbany’s first five baskets as the two sides stayed close early. Richards hitting a pair of layups in a row induced Northeastern to call timeout as UAlbany led 19-14 just after the half’s midway point.
UAlbany kept the pressure on as Richards and Royals added baskets and the defense did not allow a field goal in over eight minutes time. The visitors used that time to build a 31-19 advantage, capped by a fastbreak jumper by Richards, with 4:39 left in the 1st.
Led by threes from Mark and Kazzidy Stewart, NU gained ground before the break, but late scores by Craig, including a jumper and one, gave UAlbany a 39-32 lead into halftime.
Shooting woes hindered UAlbany early in the second half as after a Craig jumper, NU went on a 12-4 run, sparked by six points from Mark, to pull within one 45-44.
UAlbany kept going to Craig in the paint as the junior delivered at the basket, scoring five in a row to give the Great Danes some room 54-48 with 9:48 remaining. Later, Craig and Royals attacked the basket to pull UAlbany up to 61-52 at the 5:42 mark.
NU kept getting trips to the charity stripe and inched closer, as Tunstall hit seven in a span to get the home team back within four 63-59 at the final second half media timeout.
NU tried to foul Margarita Rosario to get possession. Rosario hit all four of her free throws to keep UAlbany ahead. Later, Rosario stole the ball from Mark, finding Royals on the breakaway for a layup to go up 69-62 with 2:35 left.
UAlbany faced a pressure defense from Northeastern but held, with Craig and Royals hitting free throws down the stretch to lead to the 75-66 win.
UAlbany begins America East play on Thursday, heading to Burlington to face Vermont on Thursday, January 9th at 7 p.m.