Albany, N.Y. - Ebone Henry recorded a game-high 22 points and added eight rebounds to lead UAlbany to a 55-42 win over Niagara in non-conference women's basketball action on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at SEFCU Arena. The Great Danes, who have now won two in a row, improve to 5-4 on the season, while the Purple Eagles drop to 2-6 overall.
UAlbany outscored Niagara, 18-2, to start the game. The Great Danes took the 16-point lead at 8:20 of the first half as Cassandra Callaway nailed one of her three 3-pointers. Shy Britton ended the run, hitting a jumper in the paint for Niagara at 7:56. The basket and subsequent free throw sent the Purple Eagles on an 8-0 run, cutting the UAlbany lead to 18-10 with a jumper by Meghan McGuinness with 6:49 left to play. After a layup by Julie Forster ended the Great Dane scoring drought, but McGuinness followed with a 3-pointer to cut the Niagara deficit to seven with just over five minutes left to play in the first half.
Callaway, who scored 14 points for the Great Danes, added her second trey of the game at 4:05 to put UAlbany back ahead by double digits, 25-13. However, Britton connected on two free throws, and Kayla Stroman hit a long-range shot at 2:48 to pull Niagara back within seven, 25-18. The teams battled defensively for the rest of the period, and hit the locker room with UAlbany on top.
The Great Danes came out firing in the second half, and a trey by Henry, followed by two made free throws gave UAlbany its largest lead since the first half, 39-22. Niagara continued to battle, cutting the advantage back to ten, 41-31, on a jumper by Lauren Gatto in the lane, and reached single digits on a 3-pointer by Val McQuade at 9:42, pulling the Purple Eagles to within 41-34.
UAlbany would not fold, however, getting strong free throw shooting from Sarah Royals, who nailed two shots at 6:42, along with Henry and Tabitha Makopondo, who each went 1-for-2 in the closing minutes. Adrienne Jones, who filled the box score with five steals, four assists and four rebounds, did not score her first points until just under two minutes remaining, hitting both of her shots from the charity stripe. Callaway finished up her scoring in the final seconds, ending up with a 3-of-4 performance from the free throw line in the game, setting the final score with two made shots with 23 seconds left.
Forster dominated the boards in the game, grabbing a game-high 15 rebounds to lead UAlbany to a 44-36 advantage. Niagara committed 25 turnovers in the game, including 14 forced by UAlbany, led by Jones' five steals and three each by Callaway and Makopondo.
Britton and Gatto bith finished with 10 points for Niagara (2-6), while Gatto grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. The Purple Eagles outshot the Great Danes, managing 34.8-percent (16-46) from the floor.
UAlbany (5-4) will be out of action until Dec. 18 when the Great Danes host Sacred Heart in non-conference action at 2 p.m.