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UAlbany women outfox Marist

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By Aaron Cheris
Assistant Sports Editor
asp.sports@gmail.com

On Thursday Nov. 14, the University
at Albany’s women’s basketball
faced their toughest test
of the early season. They hosted
Marist College, a team that has
made the NCAA tournament the
past eight seasons.
They passed the test with flying
colors as the Great Danes
dominated the Red Foxes in the
second half en route to a 69-59
win at SEFCU Arena. The win
moves UAlbany to 3-0 to start
their season. Marist fell to 0-2
with the loss.
“We’re a force to be reckoned
with. I wouldn’t suggest any
team take us lightly,” UAlbany
forward Shereesha Richards said
after the win.
For the second straight game,
Richards established a new career
high in points, scoring 28 to
go along with 15 rebounds, also
a career high.
When the game started, Richards
was in control, scoring the
game’s first basket six seconds
in. She scored the first seven
points for the Great Danes before
any of her teammates could get
on the score sheet. One of her
teammates, guard Sarah Royals,
was quick to praise her.
“Reese (Richards) is such a joy
to play with. She goes so hard
all the time. You could throw the
ball at the rim and Reese will go
get it,” Royals said.
Royals herself had a great
game, scoring 15 points, as well
as adding eight rebounds and
eight assists. Three of those
points came on one crucial
shot late in the first half to cut
the Marist lead to five when it
looked like Marist was in control
of the game.
Marist had scored 12 straight
points to take
their first lead
of the game
before Royals
got UAlbany
closer. However,
Marist took
a 35-30 lead
going into the
second half.
In a College
Insider Mid-
Major poll,
Marist was
ranked third
in the country
while UAlbany
was ranked
17th. Coming
out in the second
half, the
Great Danes
played like
they should
be the higher
seed.
“We told
them when to
take shots, use
the shot clock
a little bit and
that ball better
be going
to Shereesha
Richards,”
UAlbany
coach Katie
Abrahamson-
Henderson said
of her halftime
adjustments.
The strategy
worked. After
Richards sat
on the bench
for much of
the first half due to foul trouble,
she turned on her game in the
second half to get UAlbany
closer on the scoreboard. She
scored UAlbany’s first basket of
the second half and grabbed two
rebounds in the first minute of
the half to prevent Marist from
getting chances.
After Margarita Rosario drained
a three pointer to tie the game at
37, Marist responded, taking the
lead right back and extending it
to four points.
They didn’t hold it for long.
Royals set up Megan Craig for
a layup that cut the Marist lead
to two points. After the teams
traded baskets, Royals got the
crowd on its feet after making a
layup to tie the game at 47 and
drawing a foul on the play.
She didn’t make the free throw,
but UAlbany grabbed two offensive
rebounds to keep the
possession going. Eventually,
Tammy Phillip set up Richards
for the go-ahead basket, and
Richards also got fouled while
she was shooting, giving her a
chance at a three-point play. She
made the free throw to give the
Great Danes a lead they wouldn’t
relinquish.
Phillip finished with 11 points
and five assists, and Coach Abe
gave her plenty of credit after
the game. “Tammy’s going to be
really good. She’s the x-factor
and she needs to keep playing,”
Coach Abe said.
The lead only got bigger for
UAlbany as the second half
progressed.
Richards continued her excellent
second half as the UAlbany
led grew. Richards had 16 points
and 11 rebounds in the second
half alone. She finally topped her
previous career high of 25 with
a layup with under a minute left.
Royals wasn’t surprised at all by
how Richards was playing.
“I throw the ball in to Reese
and I expect a basket every
time,” Royals said.
UAlbany will try to follow up
this performance in their next
game. The Great Danes host Cal
State Fullerton on Wednesday
Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

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