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Danes Drown Hawks at the Bank

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Sometimes it takes a loss to really find out what you have. That was the case for the UAlbany women’s basketball team Monday night as they destroyed the UMass Lowell River Hawks 93-60 at the SEFCU Arena.

The Danes had an eight-game win-streak snapped on Saturday in a 74-68 road loss to the University of New Hampshire. The Danes played with a lack of “grit” in that game as head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee categorized it.

This was not the case Monday night as the Danes owned the River Hawks from the first tip to the final whistle. UMass did score the first bucket of the game, however UAlbany quickly countered with a 12-0 run and kept the pedal to the medal for the duration of the contest.

At the end of the 1st quarter UAlbany led 22-8 and Tiana-Jo Carter was already in double figures with 10 points. Carter finished with 26 points and shot a perfect 11-for-11 from the field in the game, which is a new UAlbany school record. Every time Carter got the ball down low she would finish with a bucket giving her team a major advantage.

“I didn’t realize that I was perfect,” said Carter. She seemed more focused on the fact that she wanted to redeem herself from a poor outing in their prior game. “Tonight I really wanted to perform for our team and makeup for what I didn’t do before.”

“I love how TJ (Tiana-Jo Carter) was aggressive from the start and kind of took it to them,” said coach McNamee.

Mackenzie Trpcic also had another great game and picked up right where she left off totaling a double double with 11 assists to go along with 11 points. Mackenzie set the sophomore assists record against Vermont on Jan. 24 and has been in the double figures in the assist column for the last four games.

“Mack (Mackenzie Trpic) pushed the ball with a lot of confidence and made great decisions in the open court,” said coach McNamee.

Trpic flashed her scoring ability in the 2nd quarter when she dribbled the ball up the court, put her defender on skates with a spin moved, made a layup, got fouled in the process and made her free-throw.

On the ensuing possession she knifed her way to the basket and made an easy lay in on the other side of the glass pushing the Great Dane lead to 40-13 with 3:05 to play in the 2nd quarter.

“I think right now I’m in a groove,” said Trpic. “A lot of that has to do with my teammates finding open spots.”

At the end of the first half the game was all but over and the Danes lead the River Hawks 52-18 heading into the break. They shot 62-percent from the field in the first 20-minutes and ended the 2nd quarter on 7-0 run. After that coach McNamee had the luxury of dipping into her bench as the team put the game away in the second half.

UAlbany’s top scorer, Jessica Féquière, was held in check against the River Hawks and only totaled eight points, but that was due large in part to the Danes’ ability to spread the ball. UAlbany totaled 26 assists and 11 different players scored at least a basket. The Danes will need to carry this versatility into the conference tournament if they want to win the America East Conference and go dancing for a seventh consecutive year.

Up next the Danes travel Burlington to take on the Vermont Catamounts this Thursday night. The Danes defeated the Catamounts the last time the two squared off on Jan. 24 and are looking for the regular season sweep. After that UAlbany will be back home when they host Hartford for a game at SEFCU this Sunday at 2 pm. The Danes were blown out by the Hawks 70-55 earlier in the season and are looking to avenge that loss in the home stretch of the regular season.

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John C. Longton III is the sports editor of the Albany Student Press. He previously served as sports editor for Hudson Valley Community College's student newspaper, the Hudsonian. Longton also works for Townsquare Media, the Albany Patroons, and runs his own podcast weekly, Rated R Sports.

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