UAlbany Women’s Basketball Goes Undefeated in Conference Play, Clinches Regular Season Title
SEFCU Arena on University's main campus set to host America East Conference men's and women's tournaments, March 8-10
ALBANY, N.Y. (March 04, 2013) --
The University at Albany’s women’s basketball team’s unprecedented regular season recently wrapped up as the Great Danes clinched the America East title with a record of 25-3. As a result of the win, the women’s team has the No. 1 seed heading into the America East Basketball Tournament. UAlbany will host both the men's and women's tournaments at SEFCU Arena, March 8-10.
Led by UAlbany seniors Keyana Williams, Ebone Henry, Julie Forster, and Lindsey Lowrie, the Great Danes won 20 games this season -- for only the second time in school history -- in addition to going undefeated (16-0) in conference play.
"No one believed in us," remarked Williams. "While everyone came to the men’s basketball game and celebrated their accomplishments, we were working out and getting better. Some may be surprised that we are 25-3, but everyone in our locker room knows we could be even better."
Dubbed a 'Seasons of Firsts,' the women's team made it to the NCAA playoffs for the first time in school history last year, nearly pulling out an upset against ranked opponent Texas A&M. This year, the team hopes karma will be on their side.
Keyana Williams, UAlbany's starting forward
“We’re a scrappy team, but we care for one another and don’t want to let each other down,” said Henry, who was named the all-time leading scorer in UAlbany women's basketball history this season. “That’s how we maintained this incredible streak, winning 17 consecutive games. We are going to carry this into next weekend’s tournament and hopefully into the NCAA’s.”
The team, who four years ago won only a total of 11 games, has blossomed as the cream of the crop under third year head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson.
“Coach Abe is UAlbany Women’s Basketball,” said guard Lowrie. “She’s more than a coach; she’s our mentor, a friend and an integral part of our Purple Family.”
“I have never been around a group of such talented, caring student athletes,” said Abrahamson-Henderson. “These women have exemplified what it means to be model citizens, diligent students and a great basketball team.”
The women’s team is slated to play the winner of the Stony Brook-New Hampshire game on Sunday in the semifinal round. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be televised on ESPN3.
The Great Danes received a quarterfinal bye after the University of Maine women's basketball team announced it would not participate in the tournament in the aftermath of a Feb. 26 bus accident in which the team's bus driver and a player sustained injuries.
The team will continue its preparations amidst a media frenzy. Although they have achieved many accomplishments and received much praise, they remain focused on the task at hand.
“There’s no time to sit and pat ourselves on the back. We have a championship to win next week,” said Forster, the program’s all-time leading rebounder.
The Men's team, which finished 22-10 overall (9-7 Conf.) garnered the No. 4 seed in this weekend America East Men's Championship Tournament. They will play the No. 5 Maine on Saturday at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN3/WatchESPN, with the winner advancing to Sunday's semifinals to play the winner of the Stony Brook-Binghmaton game at 7 p.m.
The America East Championship Tournament will take place March 8 - 10 at University at Albany's SEFCU Arena. Tournament play gets started with three women’s quarterfinal games on Friday, March 8, followed by the men’s quarterfinals on Saturday, March 9. The semifinals will take place Sunday, with the women playing first, followed by the men. The highest seeds remaining in both the men’s and women’s tournament will host its respective championship game the following weekend. Tickets are on sale at www.ualbanysports.com.
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