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UAlbany Defense Shuts Down Hartford, Great Danes Earn 69-52 Road Victory

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UAlbany Defense Shuts Down Hartford, Great Danes Earn 69-52 Road Victory

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HARTFORD, Conn. – Led by Shereesha Richards’s ninth double-double of the year and a strong pressure defense, the Great Danes women’s basketball team took down Hartford on the road 69-52 on Sunday afternoon.

“I am proud of our post players, they were getting crushed down low and they adjusted well,” says UAlbany head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “Our guards helped them too with setting them up with the ball and getting them free.”

Richards finished with 21 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season, adding three steals for UAlbany (12-3, 2-0 AE).

“We knew Hartford had a lot of fans, so we had to be focused and ready to go,” says Richards. “Megan and I tried to adjust by keeping some distance in the post, getting some space and getting free down low.”

Margarita Rosario went a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line, finishing with 13 points and four boards, while Megan Craig went 5-7 from the field for 12 points, six boards and a pair of blocks.

For Hartford (4-12, 1-2 AE), Cherelle Moore led the team with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.

The offenses were slow to start in the game.  After three baskets from Moore gave Hartford an early lead, UAlbany surged forward with a 9-0 run, capped by a Rosario three at the top of the arc, pushed the visitors up 13-6.

The defense started to hold Hartford off the board, keeping the Hawks without points for over eight minutes.  UAlbany used the time to set up screens for baskets in the paint, then found Erin Coughlin for the wing three on the kick out.  The Great Danes built a 26-10 advantage with 3:25 left in the 1st.  Late baskets by Richards and Coughlin helped UAlbany take a 30-14 lead into halftime.

Hartford started strong out of the locker room, with Moore hitting a pair of quick layups.  Craig stopped the run with a free throw, while Richards added a board and putback.  The home team countered with a 7-0 run, fueled by an Amber Bepko stop and pop three, to pull within eight 33-25 with 14:20 left.

Imani Tate led the attack in the paint for UAlbany in the following minutes, including a hook shot off the window to start a run.  She added another basket en route to an 11-2 UAlbany run in a span of five minutes, putting the score at 44-28 UAlbany.

The home team quick got a couple of quick baskets on a long Bepko three and an Alyssa Englert putback.  UAlbany responded by going to Richards in the post.  Richards contributed seven points in a 12-0 UAlbany run, giving the visitors their largest advantage of the day at 56-33 with 4:53 left.

Hartford pressed hard in the back court to force turnovers.  Alyssa Reeves and Moore sparked a late 11-0 charge in the span of two-and-a-half minutes to get the Hawks within 12, down 56-44.

UAlbany held off the late Hartford surge, with the Great Danes backcourt breaking the press and draining the shot clock.  Rosario and Sarah Royals hit free throws down the stretch to keep UAlbany ahead by double digits.  The Great Danes took the win 69-52 at Hartford.

UAlbany finishes its road trip on Thursday, January 16th, taking on America East newcomer UMass Lowell at 7 p.m.

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