UAlbany Earns AE Regular Season Title, Sets New League Winning Streak in 60-47 Victory at UNH
DURHAM, N.H. – Led by Shereesha Richards’s 16 points, the UAlbany women’s basketball team defeated UNH 60-47 on the road to secure the America East regular season title and set a new league winning streak with its 38th-consecutive conference regular season victory.
UAlbany (25-3, 15-0 AE) has secured its second-consecutive America East regular season title and will be the 1-seed in the upcoming America East Tournament.
“We had another good second half surge,” said UAlbany head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “We were very patient and poised, getting good steals and transition buckets.”
In addition, UAlbany earns its 38th-straight America East regular season victory, passing Maine’s mark of 37-straight from 1995-97 for a new league record. UAlbany has not lost a conference regular season game since January 28th, 2012.
“The team should be proud, it carried on the legacy of Ebone Henry, Julie Forster, Lindsey Lowrie and Keyana Williams, building on success and the groundwork. They changed the mindset from losing to winning with this program,” said Abrahamson-Henderson.
Richards, with 16 points, led UAlbany in scoring for the 19th time this season.
“We are just glad to get another victory,” said Richards. “Not a lot of teams get this opportunity, we still have to take care of business.”
For the Wildcats, Elizabeth Belanger finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while teammate Kelsey Hogan finished with 10 points.
UAlbany dominated possession in the half’s opening minutes, with Erin Coughlin hitting a long two and an elbow three in a team opening 7-0 run.
After being held without a field goal for over four minutes, UNH got to within three 11-8, started by a Belanger three. UAlbany countered by attacking the paint, with Craig, Phillip and Richards hitting layups in succession to build UAlbany’s lead to 17-8 with 12:14 in the 1st.
Great Dane rookies Imani Tate and Jessica Féquière added layups as UAlbany led 23-14, with Tate coming on a one-hander directly under the basket. UNH countered with an 8-0 run, with all four baskets coming on layups, including two from Kaylee Kilpatrick, to pull within one 23-22. Richards stopped the streak with a layup and one from Sarah Royals with 2:38 remaining in the 1st to make it 26-22 UAlbany.
Following a couple of Hogan free throws, neither side scored in the half’s final 2:20, sending UAlbany into the locker room up 26-24.
Déjà vu for UAlbany in the second half as Coughlin hit another basket to start the period. Phillip added a layup for the 5-0 run. UNH got a couple of layups in span of 43 seconds to pull back within one possession 31-28.
Tate powered the offense in the coming minutes, earning a pair of jumpers in a row and adding two free throws. Coughlin added another pair of free throws to bring UAlbany up 39-31 with 12:45 remaining in the second period.
UNH got back within a possession after a Belanger three, Corinne Coia layup and Hogan free throw brought the home team with two 39-37.
The visitors buckled down with pressure defense to force steals near the half court line. With the free throw line and a couple of jumpers, UAlbany went on a 9-0 run to push ahead 48-37.
The teams went back and forth the rest of the way, with UAlbany holding a steady lead throughout the remainder of the half. Margarita Rosario, Phillip and Royals hit free throws down the stretch as UAlbany took the win 60-47.
UAlbany will finish the regular season on Saturday, taking on Stony Brook for Senior Day at SEFCU Arena at 2 p.m.