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Women's basketball: Unbeaten Great Danes secure No. 1 seed

Sunday, February 17, 2013
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— Sophomore Sarah Royals, returning to in her home state, scored a season-high 16 points Sunday as the University at Albany women’s basketball team locked up the No. 1 seed for the America East Conference tournament with a 69-55 victory over Hartford.

Royals, a native of Torrington, Conn., made four of six three-point attempts as the Great Danes remained undefeated in the conference (12-0) and improved to 21-3 overall.

“Sarah is a stud. She is tough, gritty, competitive, everything I love in a player,” said UAlbany coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. “She stepped up and hit the three well today.”

The game opened up with both teams exchanging threes. The first 15 points were all from behind the arc, as Hartford led, 9-6, with 15:38 left in the first half. Lindsey Lowrie and Royals each connected for the early UAlbany baskets.

Both teams were physical, as the game went scoreless for nearly six minutes. From there, the Great Danes took control — going on an 11-2 run and taking the lead back at the 6:13 mark. The Hawks were held without a field goal for close to 10 minutes.

Hartford (17-9, 8-5) again tightened things up, led by sophomore Amber Beko’s 10 first-half points. However, Royals continued her display from three-point range. She closed the half with two threes, including a one-handed, scoop shot that swished as the first-half buzzer sounded, giving the Danes a 33-25 lead at the break.

The Great Danes opened the second half surging, going on a 14-4 run to open up a 47-29 lead. During the span, senior Ebone Henry scored five straight points, first hitting a three, then getting the steal on the next possession and taking it in herself for the layup.

Senior Julie Forster finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Great Danes.

UALBANY (69)

Forster 6-11 0-0 14, Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Royals 4-6 4-7 16, Henry 4-8 0-0 9, Lowrie 2-6 0-0 6, Rosario 3-5 2-2 10, Richards 1-1 8-12 10, Craig 1-2 0-0 2.Totals: 22-41 14-21 69.

HARTFORD (55)

Clark 1-4 4-4 6, Smith 1-9 3-6 5, Bultron 2-7 0-0 6, Englert 0-0 4-4 4, Bepko 4-11 4-4 16, Elliott 0-1 0-0 0, Michals 0-1 0-0 0, Hall 3-6 0-1 7, Roth 0-2 0-0 0, Doherty 4-7 3-5 11, Moore 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 15-49 18-26 55.

Halftime: UAlbany, 33-25. Three-point goals: UAlbany 11-21 (Forster 2-3, Royals 4-6, Henry 1-4, Lowrie 2-5, Rosario 2-3), Hartford 7-21 (Clark 0-1, Bultron 2-7, Bepko 4-8, Michals 0-1, Hall 1-4). Rebounds:

UAlbany 35 (Forster 10), Hartford 23 (Doherty 6). Assists: UAlbany 13 (Forster 3), Hartford 12 (Englert 5). Total fouls: UAlbany 24, Hartford 19. Fouled out: Will­iams, Henry. A — 2,619.

 
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