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Richards Sets New Single Game Program Record with 41 Points in 94-49 Win at Vermont

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Richards Sets New Single Game Program Record with 41 Points in 94-49 Win at Vermont

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BURLINGTON, Vt.Shereesha Richards dominated in the paint on Thursday night, scoring 41 points off 17-24 shooting to set a new single game program record, leading UAlbany to a 94-49 victory at Vermont to open America East play.

“It was a great win today, sparked by our second half surge,” says UAlbany coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson.  “Started by Tammy Phillip, getting steals with our press, we won with a strong team effort and put two good halves together.”

Richards finished with her eighth double-double of the year with 41 points and 11 rebounds.  For the single game program record, she surpassed Jen Schumacher and Cindy Werner, who each scored 36 points in 2005 and 1978 respectively.

“I am happy to get the record, but it was important to get the win,” says Richards. “We played together with great chemistry, and it all worked well today.”

“[Richards] was relentless in the post today offensively and defensively, leading us to the victory,” adds Abrahamson-Henderson.

Sarah Royals helped the cause for UAlbany (11-3, 1-0 AE) with a near double-double, earning 18 points, eight assists and five steals.  She also went 10-14 from the line.

“Definitely a good way to start conference play with a great statement,” says Royals. “We are so fortunate to have a great post player like [Richards], who is so versatile with great offense and defense.”

It is UAlbany’s highest scoring game in Abrahamson-Henderson’s tenure, last scoring 90+ in a 92-80 win over UMBC on February 25, 2009 vs. UMBC.  Phillip helped that with 10 points, five boards and four steals.  As a team, UAlbany shot 60.3% and earned 16 steals, holding Vermont to 28.1% from the field.

For Vermont (4-11, 1-1 AE), Kayla Burchill scored 15 points, while Kristina White scored nine points off the bench.

After Vermont hit the first basket, Richards got open for a pair of layups in a row.  A free throw, a Margarita Rosario three and another Richards basket off the glass for a 10-0 run, giving UAlbany the lead 10-2 at the first media.

The defense held down Vermont in the early going, keeping the Catamounts without a field goal for a span of over eight minutes.  Royals hit a couple of layups, while Imani Tate and Richards added more to build the lead to 22-10 with 7:41 in the first.

Both sides played a physical contest for the remainder of the half, which each team earning numerous trips to the free throw line.  Paced by Richards and Royals, UAlbany kept a strong advantage, leading 38-27 at the break.

Out of the break, UAlbany attacked the paint for layups.  Richards got the ball, earning three layups in a row to build UAlbany’s lead.  Then, after a Megan Craig layup, Phillip earned a pair of fastbreak layups in a row, with a Craig layup and one plus one more Richards layup to complete a 17-6 run, pushing UAlbany up 57-33.

The Great Danes did not look back, dominating on defense with traps at the halfcourt line and forcing turnovers to earn fastbreak opportunities.  Phillip and Royals each forced turnovers at midcourt to earn opportunities on offense.

Richards continued to hit her shots, and with 3:11 left in the 2nd, hit a backend free throw for her 37th point to set the new record.  She added a pair of layups to earn 41 points.

The Great Danes finished strong, ending the game with an 18-6 run to conclude with the 94-49 win.

UAlbany will have a rematch of last year’s America East championship on Sunday, taking on Hartford on the road at noon on Sunday, January 12th on ESPN3.

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