Richards, Royals Each Earn Double Double in 75-64 Win at NJIT
NEWARK, N.J. – Double doubles from Shereesha Richards and Sarah Royals led to UAlbany women’s basketball completing the road trip with a 75-64 win over NJIT, sending the Great Danes to 8-0 on the year.
UAlbany wins its 16-straight road game dating back to last season, while NJIT falls to 2-10 on the season.
“Second half we had some good defense, especially Richards and Royals, who had to play different positions,” says head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “The team kept its poise the entire night.”
Richards scored 21 points, 15 of them in the second half, adding 11 rebounds for her fourth double double of the year. Royals earned her first career-double double, tying a career-high 10 assists with 13 points.
“I am glad we pulled off the win tonight, it was a tough battle,” says Royals. “They kept focusing on Shereesha [Richards], so I kept looking for Tammy [Phillip] in the paint.”
Early on, UAlbany tried to get around the NJIT zone defense. Coughlin hit a wing three to give UAlbany the lead 8-6, which was countered by a Kim Tullis three to push NJIT up 9-8 with 15:46 to play in the first.
Coughlin kept getting the ball and delivering, hitting another pair of threes followed with a pair of free throws after a technical foul was charged to the NJIT bench, putting the Great Danes up 21-16.
With UAlbany up 24-18, NJIT hit three baskets in as many possessions, capped by a couple of corner threes by Denisa Domiterova, to put the home team ahead 26-24 with 6:31 left in the first period.
From there, the Great Danes held NJIT off the scoreboard for over five-and-a-half minutes. UAlbany went on an 8-0 run, including Royals earning six points in that span including a couple of layups, to take back the lead 32-26. Phillip hit a three up top of the arc in UAlbany’s last first half possession, leading to a 35-30 lead at the break.
Out of the locker room, UAlbany kept searching for Richards, who was limited due to early foul trouble. Richards earned seven points by the first media of the second with two layups and a pair of free throws, keeping UAlbany ahead 44-36.
The Purple and Gold kept attacking the paint in the early part of the half, while NJIT fired from three. The gap stayed similar as UAlbany held 51-45 with 11:50 left, later going to 60-51 as Richards continued her strong second half.
After a Domiterova three, UAlbany led 64-58 with five minutes left. That was the smallest lead UAlbany had the rest of the night, as Richards hit a layup on the next possession. A layup-and-one from Royals plus two Phillip layups sealed the game in favor of UAlbany 75-64 in the end.
Margarita Rosario ended the game with eight points and seven assists.
For NJIT, Domiterova shot 4-6 from three for 14 points. Shakia Robinson had 11 points and four rebounds.
UAlbany returns home this weekend to take on Quinnipiac, the reigning Northeast Conference champion, on Sunday, November 15th at 2 p.m. at SEFCU Arena.