UAlbany Posts 55-46 Comeback Win over New Hampshire to Clinch First-Ever Regular Season Title
DURHAM, N.H. – Megan Craig scored a game-high 20 points to lead UAlbany to a 55-46 comeback victory over New Hampshire on Wednesday evening at Lundholm Gymnasium. With the win, the Great Danes move to 24-3 overall, and 15-0 in conference play, while the Wildcats drop to 10-17 overall with a 5-10 mark in the conference.
New Hampshire got on the board first, but UAlbany got back-to-back buckets from Julie Forster and Megan Craig to take a 4-3 lead at the first media timeout of the game at 15:43. New Hampshire built up a 9-4 lead on two consecutive free throws by Cari Reed, and then pushed the advantage to 15-8 on three straight baskets by Morgan Frame. The Wildcats continued to extend their advantage, getting up by 11, 21-10, at 7:01. After New Hampshire built up their largest lead of the game, 27-14, on a free throw by Frame, Craig scored back-to-back baskets to cut the UAlbany deficit back to ten, 28-18, with 2:06 to play. New Hampshire’s Ariel Gaston scored the final points of the half with a layup to send the Wildcats to the locker room with a 30-18 advantage.
UAlbany scored first to start the second half, getting a basket by Shereesha Richards, before forcing a turnover on the ensuing New Hampshire possession and getting two more points by the freshman. A defensive rebound by Keyana Williams led to a made basket by Lindsey Lowrie, cutting the Wildcat lead to 30-24. The Great Danes extended the run to 6-0 before New Hampshire scored, almost four minutes into the second half. However, the Wildcats would respond with six unanswered points of their own to build back a 10-point advantage with 13:26 left to play. In another run, UAlbany pulled to within five, 36-31, after five straight points, prompting the Wildcats to take a timeout with 10:44 to play. Henry recorded a steal on the next possession, and Craig put the ball in the hoop at the opposite end to pull UAlbany to within 36-33, with 9:52 on the clock.
Henry tied the game and then gave the Great Danes their first lead since the 14:46 mark of the first half with two free throws at 8:09. New Hampshire finally broke a nine-minute scoring drought with two free throws by Frame at 4:33, to pull back within 44-38. The teams exchanged baskets to set the score at 46-40, and New Hampshire called a timeout with just over a minute to play. Reed, who sank three 3-pointers in the first half, was off the mark on the ensuing play, and Forster was sent to the free throw line on the opposite end. Forster hit one-of-two, as did Sarah Royals on the next possession, to give the Great Danes a 48-40 advantage before Lowrie sank two shots from the charity stripe to put UAlbany up by ten. Richards wrapped up the scoring for the Great Danes with a long assist from Henry and an and-one opportunity, before Kelsey Hogan’s basket set the final score.
Craig also added five rebounds, one block, and a steal, while Richards just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine boards, as she shot 67 percent from the floor. The Great Danes out-rebounded the Wildcats, 41-33, and shot 41 percent from the field, while holding New Hampshire to 32 percent shooting.
UAlbany will return to action on Saturday, hosting Stony Brook in the regular-season finale for Senior Day. The Great Danes will honor seniors Henry, Forster, Williams, and Lowrie.