Created: 01/05/2013 7:30 PM WNYT.com
By: WNYT Sports & UAlbany Athletics
Freshman Shereesha Richards was named the America East Player of the Game after scoring a game-high 18 points, leading UAlbany to a 72-47 victory in conference women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Events Center. With the win, the Great Danes improve to 11-3 overall, and 2-0 in league play, while Binghamton drops to 2-13, with a 1-1 conference record.
After exchanging baskets to start the game, UAlbany took its first lead of the game, 7-5, on a layup by Sarah Royals with 15:00 on the clock. Binghamton took an 11-8 lead on a 3-pointer by Jasbriell Swain, but the Great Danes got two free throws from Megan Craig and induced a turnover on the next possession that ended in a bucket by Craig to give the Great Danes a 12-11 advantage with 11:11 to play.
The Great Danes then embarked on a 7-2 run to build up a 23-18 advantage with 3:36 to play in the first half. Henry nailed a 3-pointer from the right side of the arc after the final media timeout of the stanza, but Binghamton’s Sherae Swinson responded with a bucket at the other end of the floor. Henry handed out her second assist of the day to Richards, pushing the UAlbany lead to 28-20 with just under three minutes to play. Richards and Julie Forster combined for the Great Danes’ final four points of the game, sending UAlbany to the locker room with a 32-23 lead.
The Great Danes came out of the halftime break firing, led by Henry, who scored the first nine points for UAlbany before Richards converted an old-fashioned three-point play to put the Great Danes ahead, 44-30, at 15:34. UAlbany continued to roll as the game progressed, building up a 58-35 lead over Binghamton with 7:49 on the clock.
UAlbany emptied the bench shortly thereafter, getting all of the young Great Danes on the floor in the late going. UAlbany continued to dominate play, grabbing rebounds and forcing turnovers. Craig scored six of the Great Danes’ final eight points to push UAlbany to victory.
Along with Richards, the Great Danes were led by Henry and Craig, who chipped in with 15 points apiece. Craig also grabbed a team-best nine rebounds, leading UAlbany to a 46-25 advantage in that category. The Great Danes shot 43.3 percent (26-60) from the floor and recorded 11 steals, while Binghamton managed just four thefts in the game.
The Bearcats were led by Swinson, who finished with 12 points. Binghamton shot 35.4 percent (17-48) from the floor and committed 20 turnovers.
UAlbany will have a week-long break before finally returning home to SEFCU Arena after eight consecutive road games that spanned from Dec. 1 through today and covered 8,260 miles. The Great Danes will take on Maine at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12.