THE STARTING FIVE
1. The Game
UAlbany is traveling to Baltimore, Md. for the first America East Conference game of the season, taking on the UMBC Retrievers at the RAC Arena. The last time the two teams met was in the America East Championship game last season, which UAlbany won to claim its first-ever league title. The Great Danes defeated the Retrievers all three times the squads met last season.
2. Scouting UAlbany
The Great Danes stand at 9-3 on the season, after going 1-1 at the Long Beach Classic before the holidays. UAlbany was riding a six-game win streak heading into the tournament, and had beaten those six opponents by an average of 24.7 points before falling in overtime to Sam Houston State. Two-time defending Defensive Player of the Year Ebone Henry has continued to show why she has earned that title, as she has recorded 30 steals, while also scoring at a team-best 13.0 clip. Henry scored a career-high 29 points in the loss. Julie Forster broke the career reboundingrecord against Sam Houston, and is pulling down a team-best 9.1 boards per game, while also chipping in with 9.7 points. With one rebound tonight, she will become the first player in program history to record 1,000 career boards. Megan Craig and Lindsey Lowrie are also major contributors, adding 11.3 and 9.8 ppg, respectively.
3. Scouting UMBC
The Retrievers are 4-9 on the season, after falling 79-38 to host Saint Joseph's in the championship game of the Hawk Classic on Saturday afternoon. Bria White and Brittany Crowell lead the team, averaging 10.7 and 10.5 points per game, respectively. Crowell also paces the Retrievers with 5.2 rebounds per game, while Raven Harris adds 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.7 steals per game.
4. Road Warriors
Tonight's game is the seventh in an eight-game road stretch for the Great Danes that spans from Dec. 1 to Jan. 15. Over the course of the month and a half, UAlbany will travel over 8,260 miles, visiting Philadelphia, Buffalo, Dover, Del., Long Beach, Calif., Baltimore, and Binghamton.
5. Freshman Three-Peat
Freshman Shereesha Richards won three straight America East Rookie of the Week awards. She claimed her first after scoring 17 points, while also recording four rebounds, three steals, one assist, and one block to lead the Great Danes over La Salle. She then earned her second honor of the season after scoring a team-high 16 points, grabbing eight rebounds and recording four steals in a win over Delaware State, while getting her third honor after averaging 8.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in the two contests in California.