Richards, Craig Dominate in the Post, Leading UAlbany Past UMass Lowell 93-47
With the win, UAlbany (20-3, 10-0 AE) ties Hampton for the longest Division I conference-winning streak at 33-consecutive America East victories, the second-longest in league history behind Maine’s 37-straight from 1995 to 1997.
“[UMass Lowell] was trying different things defensively in the game, including not double teaming,” said UAlbany head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “We made sure to play aggressively all game.”
Richards shot 14-21 from the field for 29 points, matching a season-high five steals. With 503 points on the year, she is the first-ever UAlbany player to score over 500 points in a single season.
“We came out ready to go, starting with our guards,” said Richards. “We did not get our usual double teams and we stayed aggressive on offense and on defense.”
Craig earned a double-double, her third of the year, by the end of the first half, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Helped by Richards and Craig, UAlbany scored 56 points in the paint.
“We were working on our shots and feeding on the energy of the others all game long,” said Craig.
UMass Lowell (3-18, 2-8 AE) was led by Jasmine McRoy, who had 13 points, while Lindsay Doucette had 11 rebounds and nine points.
Started by an Erin Coughlin corner three, UAlbany began the game with a 7-2 run after a pair of baskets by post players. Each side turned the ball over frequently in the half’s opening minutes as the offenses tried to settle.
Following a Shannon Samuels three, UAlbany attacked inside, finding Craig for a couple of baskets then Richards for another one. Coughlin added a three-pointer to cap the 9-0 run to make it 17-5.
Richards added four more baskets in an 11-2 run as UAlbany continued to dominate in the paint. Another run of seven made it 35-11 UAlbany with 7:22 to go in the first.
Bookmarked by a couple of McRoy jumpers, UMass Lowell found the basket three times in a 7-2 run on kick-outs, inducing a UAlbany timeout as the home team led 37-18.
UAlbany went back to the paint to finish out the half, finding Tammy Phillip and Craig twice before the end of the period to send UAlbany into the locker room up 47-25.
The Great Danes did not let up in the second half. Richards exploded out of the break, hitting the half’s first five baskets. Margarita Rosario added a corner three, then Imani Tate put in a jumper. With the final two baskets of the first half, the run came to 22-1 as UAlbany surged ahead 65-26 in the opening minutes of the second.
UAlbany saw its reserves get playing time towards the end, with all 11 active players scoring by the game’s final. The Great Danes took the win 93-47 in the end.
UAlbany hosts Hartford on Friday at 7 p.m. at SEFCU Arena for a game broadcast on ESPN3.