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Danes are top dog in Albany Cup

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By Lauren Mineau
[email protected]

The University at Albany women’s
basketball team clinched
their fourth straight Albany Cup
with a 69-42 win over Siena,
earning a solid season opener
and 365 more days of bragging
UAlbany’s Sarah Royals
matched her career-best with
21 points and lead the game in
points. Margarita Rosario also
has a personal best with 14
“We were all prepared for the
game, coming up and playing
hard against them [Siena] is like
what we practiced and we ended
up successful,” said Margarita
The reigning America East
Rookie of the Year, Shereesha
Richards opened the season with
a double-double, 13 points and
12 rebounds, while also taking
four steals.
In addition, senior Tammy
Phillip matched her career-high
with 10 boards, as the Great
Danes out rebounded the Saints,
48-30. Megan Craig also earned
a career-high with four blocks,
adding five points to the board at
the Times Union Center.
“You have to get that first game
under your belt, this was a good
hard played game by our team. I
saw a lot of toughness from everybody,”
said head coach Katie
Despite the 28 turnovers, UAlbany
still came out on top but
still leaving room for improvement.
“I never think of a turnover as
just one person, it’s two people,
we have to do a better job of
keeping the ball,” said Abrahamson-
Coming off a conference championship
and NCAA Tournament
appearance last year, the Great
Danes began the season with a
58.6 percent field goal percentage
in the first half, as well as
hitting 6-of-8 shots from behind
the arc.
“Granted, everyone talks
about how much we lost, but
we also brought in a very strong
class,” UAlbany junior guard
Sarah Royals said. “I mean, they
recruit our style of play and we
lost some great players, but the
freshmen are going to turn into
just the kind of players Ebone
[Henry] and Julie [Forster] was.”
Royals knocked down two and
Rosario hit another to give the
Great Danes a 13-0 head start at
the 12:53 mark.
The Danes defense stifled
the Saints to a 17.2 field goal
percentage (5-29) in the opening
minutes. Siena remained
scoreless until the 7:52 mark, as
Tehresa Coles’ layup made the
score 20-5.
“The first half got away from
us,” said Siena head coach Ali
The Danes really picked up
intensity in the final five minutes
of the first half, the Great
Danes used a 17-2 run, topped
by another Royals three, to take
a 30-point lead, 43-13 with 1:17
Siena made the final basket of
the half with 34 seconds on the
clock, as Emia Willingham got
one off the glass. UAlbany went
into the half with a 43-15 lead.
Shereesha Richards scored
UAlbany’s first six points with
two field goals and two free
throws, giving the Great Danes
a 32-point lead (49-17), the biggest
lead of the game with 17:41
With Brianna Logan’s layup,
Siena cut the margin to 22,
53-31, with 11:19 on the clock,
but that would be as close as the
Saints would get.
UAlbany built their lead back
up to as much as 28, 66-38, led
by a trio of Rosario baskets and
Royals’ pair of free throws with
3:18 remaining, and the Great
Danes held onto their comfortable
advantage through the
remainder of regulation play.
UAlbany (1-0) held Siena (0-1)
to a 26.2 field goal percentage
(16-61),shooting 25-for-54 as
well as a 4.8 percentage (1-21)
from three. Leading the Saints,
Meghan Donahue and Coles both
reached double figures with 13
and 12 points, respectively.

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