Women's Basketball Rallies to Earn Fifth Consecutive America East Championship
Shereesha Richards scored 21 of her 31 points in the second half to rally the Great Danes to their fifth consecutive America East title.
ALBANY, N.Y. (March 11, 2016) -- The Great Danes are dancing again. The University at Albany Women's Basketball team captured its fifth consecutive America East Championship by rallying to top Maine, 59-58 at SEFCU Arena on Friday.
Senior Shereesha Richards scored 21 of her 31 points in the second half as the Great Danes overcame a halftime deficit to the Black Bears.
UAlbany (27-4) returns to the NCAA Tournament, still searching for its first win. The 12th-seeded Great Danes will face No. 5 Florida (22-8) in the opening round. The game will be played in Syracuse at noon on Friday at the Carrier Dome. The Great Danes were a No. 13 seed last year and, after leading much of the second half, lost at Duke, 54-52.
In the America East championship game, the title remained in doubt right up to the final buzzer. UAlbany took their final lead, 51-49 with 5:27 to go, but the Black Bears had a chance to win the game in the final moments. Trailing by one, Maine got the ball back with 20 seconds to go. After missing the shot, the Black Bears intentionally fouled with 2.6 seconds to play but the Great Danes missed both free throws. A final 3-point attempt by Maine failed to find the mark.
Richards finished 11 of 18 from the field and 9 of 10 from the foul line. She also had nine rebounds. Richards scored 30 or more in all three tournament games and was selected MVP.
Men's Basketball Season Continues with CBI Selection
The men's basketball team will face Ohio on Wednesday in the College Basketball Invitational. The game starts at 7 p.m.
The men's basketball team will also play in the postseason for the fifth consecutive year after earning a spot in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).
The Great Danes (24-8) will travel to Athens, Ohio, to face the Ohio Bobcats of the Mid-American Conference on Wednesday, March 16. The game is set to start at 7 p.m.
The College Basketball Invitational is a 16-team tournament, with all games being played at campus sites of higher seeds. The tournament is single elimination until the “Championship Series,” between the final two teams, which will be a best-of-three series. The event features eight first-round games (March 15 or 16), four quarterfinals (March 21), two semifinals (March 23) and the Championship Series (March 28, 30 and April 1 if necessary). The Championship Series will be broadcast on ESPNU.
UAlbany wrapped up its America East conference tournament play with a 68-59 quarterfinal loss to Hartford. The Great Danes posted an all-time best 24 wins in the regular season, finishing second in the America East with a 13-3 record in league play. After winning America East crowns in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the Danes will make their first appearance in the CBI in 2016. The Great Danes participated in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) in 2012.
The Bobcats earned a 21-11 record in 2015-16, falling to eventual MAC Champion Buffalo in the tournament semifinals.
For more news, subscribe to UAlbany's RSS headline feeds
About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.