Strong Post Play Leads UAlbany to 70-60 Road Win Over Providence
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The UAlbany women’s basketball team dominated the paint on Wednesday to earn a 70-60 road victory over Big East opponent Providence, pushing the team to 6-0, the best start in the program’s D-I history.
“We played hard in a very physical game, and we handled it well,” says coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “Sarah [Royals] was a huge spark for us, and we handled their go-to players well.”
The Great Danes dominated down low, outrebounding Providence 47-33, led by Tammy Phillip grabbing 13 boards with seven points.
“The key was boxing out, communicating and hard work,” says Phillip. “We earned a hard win on the road, and it is awesome being 6-0.”
Shereesha Richards led UAlbany in scoring for the fifth-consecutive game, earning 19 points on 9-14 shooting with nine rebounds and five steals. Megan Craig earned her first-career double double with 15 points and 10 boards, blocking three shots.
The game started on a furious pace, with both sides trying to run. UAlbany hit its layups, with four different players scoring on the first five shots on an early 10-3 lead.
Megan Craig added a pair of layups on the run as the UAlbany zone defense held Providence without points for a span of over seven-and-a-half minutes, building a 14-3 advantage, later going up 18-7 after a pair of Richards layups.
Providence, led by a couple of Karin Robinson layups, started hitting shots near the basket and slowly crept closer, getting to within three 21-18 at the three-minute mark in the first, scoring 10 points off turnovers.
UAlbany held Providence off the scoreboard in the final three minutes, with Craig hitting a jumper near the charity stripe and Sarah Royals adding a pair of free throws to give the Great Danes a 25-18 lead at the break.
Out of the locker room, the Great Danes attacked the paint, sparking an 8-0 run, including a Richards hook shot make and a Royals fastbreak layup to complete the surge, putting UAlbany up 33-18 in the half’s first 3:15.
UAlbany had to hold against a strong Providence full-court press, leading to each side exchanging runs. Richards kept hitting layups, with an under-the-basket layup and one by Royals giving UAlbany a 46-28 lead with 11:27 left.
The press started to take its toll as Providence started to come back, getting within seven 49-42 after a layup by Robinson.
The Purple and Gold kept to its bread and butter with attacking in the paint. With that strategy, UAlbany went on a 10-0 run in the next three-and-a-half minutes, building the advantage to 59-42.
From there, UAlbany did not lead by less than double digits. Margarita Rosario hit key free throws in the final minutes to keep the Purple and Gold ahead. A pair of threes in the final 10 seconds by Danielle Pearson gave a late scare, but UAlbany took the win 70-60 over Providence.
Royals concluding with 17 points, going 7-9 from the free throw line. Rosario concluded with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists.
For the Friars, Robinson led the team with 16 points off 7-16 shooting and three steals. Pearson finished with 10 points. UAlbany held Tori Rule, a player averaging over 20 points a contest into Wednesday, to just five points.
The Great Danes will break for the Thanksgiving holiday, taking on Dartmouth next Wednesday, December 4th at 7 p.m.