American East: UMBC vs UAlbany Recap

American East: UMBC vs UAlbany Recap

“I would say a little beaten up, but you have to push through it to get a win like that and we were able to push through it and continue to play as a team until the end”

UAlbany forward Deja Evans

Saturday’s game was critical for both teams. Especially for this time of the year. UMBC was coming into this game looking to snap a four game losing streak. Rebounding from their recent loss to Binghamton on Thursday night. The Great Danes on the other hand were looking to continue their three game winning streak. This game was important for the Great Danes to hold the top spot in the American East.

The Great Danes started off the game strong with a 7-1 run. By the first timeout of the game they had a 7-3 lead. With Deja Evans leading the charge with four of those points. When play resumed UMBC responded specifically inside the paint. Scoring six of their ten points to end the period. UMBC would trail by three (13-10).

UAlbany kept a grip on the lead with great play from guard Sarah Karpell. Karpell scored five of the seven points midway through the second half. Even though the Great Danes had the lead 20-16, UMBC was playing better than earlier. The Retrievers were hanging around. By halftime the Retrievers had taken the lead 27-24. 

The play of Jordan Lewis, and Jaden Walker contributed to them taking the lead. Not to mention UMBC was shooting 73 percent, and they outscored Albany 17-11 in the second period alone. What was even more impressive was their defense. They held Kayla Copper to two points, and Evans to four in the second.

Once play resumed for the second half UMBC picked up right where they left off. They went on a 8-0 run and within a minute. Their lead grew from three to eleven (35-24). Forward Jordan Lewis was leading the charge as she had nine points for UMBC. With the lead UMBC became more aggressive defensive wise, and it definitely got a little chippy in the paint between Kayla Cooper and Anna Blount. 

The good news was that after the slow start Kayla Cooper had started to get going offensive wise. She finished the period with 11 points. Leading the team, Haegerstrand also hit two clutch three point shots. 

When the fourth period began the Great Danes came out firing on a 4-0 run. Two major keys were Deja Evans who was a defensive presence in the paint with her play, and Lily Phillips who hit a three point shot to cut the lead to three 48-45 forcing UMBC to call a timeout. By the next timeout the Great Danes had taken the lead with a bucket from Deja Evans at the 6:50 mark. From that point on, it was a back and forth battle between the two teams that came down to the last seconds of the game. 

Even though there were some questionable foul calls, UAlbany had a 56-54 lead with twenty eight seconds left. Cooper would miss two free throws to seal the game, and UMBC went back down, scored and tied the game up with seventeen seconds left. This did not deter Coach Mullen from going back to Cooper as she made the layup to take a 58-56 lead, this play sealed the game. UMBC played a hell of a game, and took the first place Great Danes down to the wire. UMBC fell to 8-17 overall and 4-9 in the conference. 

The Great Danes on the other hand, were fortunate to get the victory over UMBC and were able to keep their first place spot at 22-3 and 11-1 in the conference.


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