SCORE: #2 UAlbany 72, #3 Maine 64
LOCATION: McDonough Sports Complex (HVCC) – Troy, N.Y.
RECORDS: #2 UAlbany 22-10, 14-2 America East | #3 Maine 16-14, 11-5 America East
POST GAME QUOTES: “Congratulations to Albany they hit big shots, they shot almost 62% from the field, they shot 63% from three, they have not done that in a long time, but they did that when they needed to most” – Maine WBB Head Coach Amy Vachon
Going into Sunday’s semifinal game, it was a match up everyone was expecting to happen. With a team that is always there at the end competing for the American East title the Maine Black Bears. The other team is UAlbany Great Danes. Who are the reigning American East Champions. The Great Danes were just coming off a victory over a hungry UMass Lowell team. Not only was this an American East Championship rematch, but Maine were looking for revenge.
When the game first started it was tight and competitive as expected. By midway through the first period the Great Danes were up 7-6. On Maine’s end there was no surprise that Anne Simon and Adrianna Smith had scored all of Maine’s points so far. By the end of the period the game was tied at 16. Two things were clear after the first period was over, was that Smith and Simon were going to be the focal point of the offense. They scored 14 of the 16 points in the first period and this game was going to come down to the wire.
As the second period began, the game stayed close. Both teams scraped and fought. By the 4:58 mark Maine had taken a 26-25 lead. Anne Simon was continuing to get hot as she led the team with 14. Smith on the other hand had to sit the bench for a few due to foul trouble. What was also noticeable was that Cooper was also starting to get going as she now led the team in points. By the end of the half the Great Danes had taken a 36-31 lead with a three point shot buzzer beater from guard Fatima Lee.
The concerns for Maine from midway through the second period had reared its head, as Smith was on the bench in foul trouble, Simon who although had 14 was held scoreless for half of the second period and Kalya Cooper had finished with 13 scoring half of the points in the paint of UAlbany.
When the second half began the Great Danes picked up right where they left off at. UAlbany went on a 5-0 run, sparked by Morgan Haney three point shot. Giving the Great Danes a 10 point lead (41-31). UAlbany continued their grip mostly through the third period. Keeping a tight grip on the lead, they had a 47-39 lead midway in the third period. By the end they finished with a 55-49 lead.
It was looking like UAlbany was going to continue the tight grip they had on the Black Bears. Especially with the way they were frustrating Maine in the paint. Even though the Great Danes finished the period with the lead and momentum, Simon had started heating up again. She now had 21 points by the end of the period and that momentum had carried into the fourth. Going into the fourth period UAlbany had a six point lead 55-49, but then Maine responded.
They went on a 6-2 run cutting the lead from 6 to 2 (57-55). Forcing the Great Danes to call a timeout. It was looking like Maine was going to come back in this game. Then Ellen Hahne hit two three point clutch shots near the end of the game to seal the victory over the Black Bears 72-64.
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Maine WBB Presser
UAlbany WBB Presser
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