15-Seed UAlbany WBB Faces 2-Seed West Virginia in NCAA First Round on Sunday
BATON ROUGE, La. – 15-seed UAlbany is set to compete in its third-straight NCAA Tournament, heading to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday, March 23, to take on 2-seed West Virginia in first round action at 3 p.m. Eastern Time (2 p.m. Central Time).
The game will be broadcast in the team’s markets in Albany and West Virginia on ESPN and is available online anywhere on ESPN3. The game will also be broadcast on the radio in the Capital District on Fox Sports 980. Tickets for the game range from $5-16 and are available on LSUtix.net.
America East champion UAlbany is coming off a 70-46 victory over Stony Brook to secure its third-straight conference title, entering the NCAA First Round at 28-4 overall and 15-1 in its league. West Virginia earned its first Big 12 regular season title this season, falling to Baylor 74-71 in its league title game to go into the NCAA at 29-4 overall and 16-2 in its conference.
The winner of this game takes on the victor of 7-seed LSU, the tournament host, and 10-seed Georgia Tech in the next round for a berth into the Louisville Regional.
With a 70-46 victory over Stony Brook on March 10, UAlbany won its third-consecutive America East title, defeating Binghamton and Hartford to reach the title game. The Great Danes are the first school since Maine from 1996-98 to win the America East three years in a row.
The Great Danes earned their first entrance into the Division I NCAA Tournament in 2012, receiving a 14-seed. UAlbany took on 3-seed Texas A&M in the tournament, falling 69-47 in the NCAA First Round at College Station. UAlbany followed up the next year with a 14-seed again, taking on 3-seed North Carolina. The Great Danes took UNC to the brink in Newark, Delaware, but succumbed to a late Tar Heel charge to fall 59-54.
UAlbany and West Virginia will meet for the first time on Sunday. The Great Danes are 0-3 all-time against the Big 12, last falling to Texas A&M 69-47 on March 17, 2012. West Virginia has won its last five games against the America East, last defeating Boston University 60-57 on November 12, 2012.
Shereesha Richards earned America East Player of the Year and ranks first in the conference in scoring, rebounding and field goal %. She stands with 20.2 points, nine rebounds and 2.1 steals per game, shooting 62.7% from the field to stand second in Division I. Megan Craig, a fellow First Team All-Conference member, has risen to seventh in the conference at 12.5 points a contest, adding 5.9 rebounds a game and a 58.7% field goal %. The team’s point guard, Sarah Royals, earned a UA single season record 157 assists to average 4.9 per game, scoring 11.7 points a contest. Tammy Phillip finished the regular season with a 43% field goal percentage, grabbing 8.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals a game.
The Mountaineers earned their highest placement in the NCAA ever at a 2-seed, with their 29 wins matching the single-season wins record set in 2010. Big 12 Coach of the Year Mike Carey leads West Virginia into the NCAA Tournament for the fifth-consecutive year. Two players landed on the All-Big 12 Team this season: Sophomore guard Bria Holmes is the team’s leading scorer with 15.1 points per game, being the team’s top three-point shooter at 36.6%, and 6-foot-4 senior center Asya Bussie shoots 49.3% from the field, averaging 13 points, 7.6 rebounds and two blocks a game. Reserve senior guard Taylor Palmer, the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year, holds a field goal percentage just under 40%, getting 10.1 points a game.