UAlbany Women’s Basketball Holds Undefeated America East Season, Outlasts Binghamton 64-58
ALBANY, N.Y. – Down five at the half, the UAlbany women’s basketball team came back to defeat Binghamton 64-58 on Monday night to stay undefeated in America East play.
With the win, the Great Danes have won 20 games in its first 23 contests three of the last four seasons.
UAlbany (20-3, 11-0 AE) trailed by six to Binghamton (10-14, 5-7 AE) with 5:09 left in the third quarter. UAlbany took the lead on a 9-0 run with baskets by four different scorers. Binghamton retook the lead off Imani Watkins’s shooting. With the game tied at 53, UAlbany held its opponent to two field goals in the final 5:30 to pull out the victory.
“I think [Binghamton coach Linda Cimino] does a great job, and they played hard with a strong defense,” said UAlbany coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “But Shereesha [Richards] and Tiana-Jo [Carter] did a great job, and when we have that one-two punch, we are hard to guard.”
Shereesha Richards nearly had a double-double off 20 points and nine rebounds, moving into sixth in America East history with 2,191 career points. Tiana-Jo Carter shot 7-9 from the field for 14 points while Zakiya Saunders finished with 19 points, five assists and six steals. As a team, UAlbany outrebounded Binghamton 40-24.
For Binghamton, Watkins had a game-high 22 points, including going 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Kim Albrecht finished with 21 points, netting four three-pointers.
Going into the paint early, UAlbany got off to a 8-2 start off scoring from Carter and Richards. Another layup from Carter, making her 3-3 to begin, put UAlbany up 10-5 in the opening 3:16.
At 12-6, Albrecht hit a long three to spark a Binghamton run. Using the zone to keep out UAlbany’s shooters from the paint, the other way, Binghamton drew contact and used the free throw line to go on an 11-0 run and lead 17-12 after one quarter.
After Watkins hit a banked floater to make the Binghamton lead at seven, UAlbany returned to getting shots inside for a 6-0 run to pull within one. With 1:37 left in the quarter, Richards hit a layup to tie the game at 24-24.
Binghamton put together a 5-0 run to complete the half, including two Rebecca Carmody free throws and a deep Albrecht three, to take a 29-24 lead into halftime.
The third quarter started with numerous baskets as the teams traded field goals. Binghamton kept the advantage, using a Watkins three to go up by six at 39-33 with 5:09 left in the 3rd.
UAlbany called a timeout and regrouped. The team responded with a number of plays to personnel down low. Sparked by a Carter layup and continued with baskets from Heather Forster, Saunders, Imani Tate and Richards, UAlbany put together an 11-0 run to go up by five. Late free throws by Albrecht made it 44-41 UAlbany after three.
Up by one in the first couple minutes, Erin Coughlin hit a wing three on the kick-out to put UAlbany up 49-45. Watkins responded with a run into the paint to draw contact and hit free throws, then hit a long three to give Binghamton a 51-50 advantage with 7:05 left.
Immediately after a timeout, Carter hit a turnaround shot off the window to put UAlbany ahead, with Richards adding a layup off a steal and pass in transition. Watkins again came up for the Bearcats, drawing contact and hitting three free throws to tie the game again 53-53.
The next possession, UAlbany went back to Carter, who hit the layup for a home team lead. Carter hit another layup on the next possession. With no field goals for the next couple of minutes, UAlbany led by five until Albrecht hit a kick-out three to pull the visitors within two 58-56 with two minutes left.
Richards scored a layup to make the game two possessions again, then Carter rebounded a Kristin Ross miss. UAlbany held the ball for over a minute off Binghamton fouls. Saunders hit late free throws as UAlbany held off Binghamton 64-58.
UAlbany will play its next game at home as well, hosting New Hampshire for Commitment to Education Day on Thursday, February 11th at 12 p.m. noon.