UAlbany Women Defeat Boston, Improve To 13-0 In America East
Last night at SEFCU Arena may have been the last meeting between the UAlbany Great Danes and Boston University Terriers in not just women's basketball, but in basketball at all, with the driver's seat in the America East standings on the line. The Great Danes ended their America East ties with the Terriers on the right foot, scoring a 77-72 victory.
Boston started out hot, going on an 8-0 run in the early going, but the Great Danes responded with a 14-2 run of their own to take the lead back and give us a glimpse of just what kind of back and forth game we were all in for.
While both teams came into the game with top ten scoring defenses nationally, it was the offense of both teams that shined, with both teams shooting over 40% for the game, both having at least three double figure scorers (four for UAlbany, three for BU), and both being led by their conference player of the year candidates, Albany's Ebone Henry and Boston's Chantell Alford.
Henry had 23 points for the Great Danes, while Alford had 25 in a losing effort for the Terriers. The two also had a coming together, which may have been the turning point in the game, with 10:31 to play in the second half and the game tied at 52, when Alford put a hard foul on Henry who was attempting to break away for a layup.
Alford's hard foul, which prompted a huge reaction from a flagrant foul seeking crowd, resulted in two free throws for a visibly perturbed Henry, who hit both to give UAlbany the lead. She then hit a layup and a three in the same sequence to put the Great Danes up 59-53. Boston never got within better than four points of UAlbany from there.
The other three double figure scorers for the Great Danes were Lindsay Lowrie who improved on her previously 12th best three point shooting percentage in the nation with a 5-7 performance beyond the arc, totaling 17 points. Eventual America East Rookie of the Year Shereesha Richards scored 10 points on 4-6 shooting and, deserving of a special mention is Keyana Williams who put up 15 points and 9 rebounds in 26 minutes, playing some of her best basketball last night, especially after Megan Craig was relegated to the bench after fouling out.
The win moved the Danes to 22-3 on the season and 13-0 in America East conference play. They have three games left in the regular season, against Stony Brook, Vermont, and New Hampshire, none of which are at the .500 mark or better in league play. In the Danes' first matchups with each team they won by 33, 27, and 35 points, respectively. All Albany needs to do is what they've done all season and they will have themselves a perfect America East regular season.
Attendance for the game, by the way, was up around 1,000 fans on a night dedicated to breast cancer awareness in which the Great Danes sported pink socks, shoelaces and headbands while fans donned pink as well.
With a decent crowd in the stands, the timing for a high scoring, legitimately entertaining basketball game in which both teams broke 70 points could not have been better. Hopefully those in attendance will continue to come back to see a brand of basketball that defies the long held stereotypes of women's hoops, and hopefully the number of fans in the building will continue to grow for a team that is not 13-0 in America East play.