Created: 02/20/2014 12:01 AM WNYT.com
By: UAlbany Athletics & WNYT Sports
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany women’s basketball team’s 86-35 home victory over Binghamton on Wednesday secured a share of the school’s third-straight America East regular season title.
In addition, the victory gives UAlbany (24-3, 14-0 AE) its 37th-straight conference victory, tying the America East record for longest streak of league wins set by Maine from 1995 to 1997.
“It is history-making, and the players believed,” said UAlbany head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “I really respect who had the record earlier in Joanne P. McCallie, who is now at Duke. I just want our players to accomplish greatness, and those players work hard everyday.”
Win the win, UAlbany is just a victory or a New Hampshire loss away from earning the America East regular season title outright.
Shereesha Richards led UAlbany with 20 points, eight rebounds and four steals. It is her 17th contest with at least 20 points or more in her UAlbany career, a new school record.
“For Coach Abe to transform the program and get the team to win games, she does everything to make us win,” said Richards.
Megan Craig scored 18 points and blocked two shots, while Sarah Royals scored 16 points off the bench, going 8-for-9 from the free throw line.
“Slowly we rebuilt the program, getting good players and having strong support from the school,” said Craig. “Coach Abe is a mother-figure to us, and she knows best.”
“There is a reason we are who we are, we have great coaches and great players,” said Royals. “We set goals every game and for the season, but we do not look ahead, just to the next game.”
For Binghamton (4-22, 1-12 AE), Kandace Newry led the team with nine points and four rebounds. Kim Albrecht scored seven off the bench.
UAlbany held Binghamton without points in the first 2:30, with a Tammy Phillip swipe and score capping a game-opening 8-0 run.
Following a Kandace Newry three, Erin Coughlin buried an elbow three to spark a 10-0 run, adding another three in that span to push the advantage to 18-3 with 12:56 left in the first half.
Scoring stalled for UAlbany as Binghamton held the Great Danes without points for nearly five minutes. UAlbany held Binghamton in check in the same span, never leading by less than double digits. A couple of quick layups from Craig and Richards ended the drought to push UAlbany up 28-10.
At 31-18, a Royals layup started a half-finishing 9-0 spurt, including jumpers from Craig and Keyontae Williams, to send UAlbany into the locker room up 40-18. Into the second half, six more points were added, capped by another steal and score from Phillip, for a 46-18 advantage.
Attacking the paint, Richards earned her ninth layup at the 14:45 mark to get to 20 points, setting the new mark. The frontcourt swarm led UAlbany to lead 62-26 with 10 minutes to play.
UAlbany did not look back in the game as Williams, Jessica Féquière and Zakiya Saunders all scored down the stretch, leading UAlbany to the 86-35 win.
The Great Danes will not play again for a week, taking on second-place New Hampshire in Durham on Wednesday, February 26th at 7 p.m.?