Richards Nets 28 Points as UAlbany Women’s Basketball Holds Off Providence for 71-58 Home Victory
ALBANY, N.Y. – With Providence pulling to within five with 2:37 left, the UAlbany women’s basketball team finished the game on a 10-2 run to pick up the 71-58 victory against a Big East opponent on Tuesday night at the SEFCU Arena.
UAlbany (5-1) led by as much as 18 with a breakout third quarter against Providence (2-4). Using the full court press, Providence pulled to within five. UAlbany started to break the press and hit free throws down the stretch to hold the lead and take the win, outrebounding Providence 37-24 in the game.
“Overall, in the big picture, we want to be at the next level, and beating a Big East team is really going to help us,” said UAlbany coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson.
Shereesha Richards earned another big night, scoring 28 points and grabbing five rebounds and three steals. She moved into 15th place in America East history with 1,797 points.
“I know every game, I am going to get double teamed,” said Richards. “I know I have to find a way around it.”
Imani Tate also had a strong scoring night, finishing with 21 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Zakiya Saunders nearly had a double-double with 12 points and eight assists while Heather Forster had a game-best 11 rebounds.
For Providence, Sarah Beal tallied 14 points, six assists and five steals. Jovana “Yoyo” Nogic had 13 points while Aliyah Miller ended with 11 points and four rebounds.
Providence got off to a 6-2 start on three shots in the paint, capped by a fastbreak layup off a steal from Evi Iiskola. UAlbany started to hold on defense and steal the ball frequently, building an 11-0 run in less than four minutes.
The road team pulled to within three, then a Forster layup started a 5-0 streak. UAlbany led 20-14 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter started very evenly as both sides exchanged points, with both primarily hitting shots in the paint. A Richards three on a kick out from Tate gave UAlbany a 27-19 lead a few minutes into the second.
With Nogic hitting threes, Providence again pulled to within three. UAlbany held off the Friars in the final 2:28 of the half as Tate scored four points in a quarter ending 5-0 run. UAlbany took a 38-30 lead into halftime.
UAlbany kept going into the paint to start the third quarter as Richards and Saunders led the charge on scoring. With those two contributing 14 points in an 18-8 burst primarily on layups, UAlbany built its advantage to 18. UAlbany earned a 56-39 lead after three quarters.
Defense ruled in the early fourth quarter minutes as UAlbany led 57-39 with 7:30 left in the 4th. Beal and Nogic started to fire away from long range and started pulling Providence closer. A couple of free throws from Rachel Aho made it 61-56 with 2:37 left.
Abrahamson-Henderson used her second timeout in the span of a minute to try to settle the team. UAlbany’s defense keep Providence out of the paint and led to missed long range jumpers.
UAlbany kept getting fouled, leading to free throw makes. The Great Danes built the lead back to double digits with a minute left and held it the rest of the way, leading to the 71-58 win.
UAlbany will return to the road this weekend, heading to West Point to take on Army on Saturday, December 5th at 3 p.m.