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Three Danes Earn Career-High Points as UAlbany Holds Off Delaware State to Win 87-71

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Three Danes Earn Career-High Points as UAlbany Holds Off Delaware State to Win 87-71

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ALBANY, N.Y. – Matching its best start since the 2010-11 season, UAlbany had three players earn career-highs in scoring as the Great Danes prevailed against a scrappy Delaware State team to win 87-71 on Sunday at home.

With the win, UAlbany, which shot a season-best 63% in the game, improves to 5-0, marking just the second time in the school’s D-I history that the team has won its first five games.

“We knew they were going to put up a lot of points,” says UAlbany head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “We have had a different X-factor every game, and today Margarita [Rosario] and Erin [Coughlin] provided that, and it is neat to see more people step up.”

Rosario earned a career-high 21 points, going a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line and 3-3 for three, adding a team-best seven assists.

“We are progressing every game,” says Rosario. “But we cannot settle, we have to keep getting better.”

Shereesha Richards led UAlbany in scoring, matching a career-high 28 points off 11-14 shooting, adding a team-high six boards and three steals.  Coughlin also had a career-high in scoring, netting 10 points, all in the first half, adding five assists.

In the early going, each offense had trouble getting set.  UAlbany made its first two shots, but a 5-0 personal run by Raven Bankston, adding a Tierra Hawkins jumper and another Bankston basket, pushed DSU up 11-4 in the first five minutes.

UAlbany’s defense started to hold as DSU was held without points for almost five minutes.  Richards hit a trio of shots in a 9-0 run to give the Great Danes a 13-11 advantage.  DSU countered quickly with Bankston and Hawkins hitting two shots each, combining for nine points as the Hornets led 20-13.

The Great Danes kept attacking the basket, drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line.  A 12-2 run, capped by a Coughlin layup, put UAlbany back in front 25-23.

Again DSU countered, with Hawkins adding a layup to help DSU go ahead 27-25 with 3:48 remaining in the half.

UAlbany saw Coughlin and Rosario combine for a couple of threes to put the home team back in front, adding a trio of Richards free throws.  DSU added four before the break, but UAlbany held the lead at halftime 37-33.

Sarah Royals went to the paint in the start of the second half, scoring the first four points of the period as the Great Danes did not allow a basket in the first four minutes of the half.  Rosario added a pair of threes as UAlbany built a 13-point lead to go up 57-44 with 13:44 left.

The two teams kept exchanging points, as Bankston and Hawkins kept scoring for DSU and UAlbany kept making layups.  At 69-61 with six minutes remaining, a 6-0 run on Rosario free throws, a Megan Craig layup and Royals free throws put UAlbany up 75-62 with 4:38 remaining.

The sides continued to go back and forth, but UAlbany never surrendered the lead, scoring the final six points of free throws, four by Rosario, to win 87-71.

In addition to 63% shooting, the team shot 76.2% in the second half and 92.3% from the free throw line in the contest (24-26).  Each game-mark is the best team performance in the America East this season.

Royals finished with 14 points, including 12 in the second half, and four assists.  Craig blocked a career-high five shots, scoring eight points, while Tammy Phillip earned six points, six boards and three assists.

For DSU, Hawkins and Bankston scored 29 and 28 points respectively, combining to shoot 22-39 (56.4%) from the field.  Jade Washington had four steals, six assists and two points.

UAlbany hits the road before Thanksgiving, taking on Providence at Alumni Hall on Wednesday, November 27th at 7 p.m.


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