ALBANY — Playing against the America East Conference’s top team, on short notice and after more than three weeks without playing a game didn’t leave the UAlbany women’s basketball team in the best position to have a successful series last weekend.
Heading into this Saturday’s and Sunday’s games against New Hampshire at SEFCU Arena, though, Great Danes head coach Colleen Mullen said her team is in a better spot.
“We’re getting our legs back,” Mullen said during a teleconference earlier this week with reporters.
And after suffering back-to-back losses last weekend against Maine, UAlbany (1-3, 2-6) is looking to get back on track this weekend against a New Hampshire (4-6, 4-9) club that has lost four of its last five games. UAlbany has lost five of its last six, but showed signs during the second half of its second game against Maine that it was regaining the form of the team that had a solid showing during its season’s early games.
UAlbany outscored Maine 17-8 in last Sunday’s third quarter, and was within four points of Maine early in the fourth before the visiting team pulled away for a 63-47 victory. The key during that strong stretch of play, Mullen said, was the Great Danes were able “to get some of our offense to come from our defense,” which is especially important for them as they try to regain their footing on offense after missing so much practice time.
“If we can defend . . . we can really compete with anybody in this league,” Mullen said.
Through UAlbany’s first eight games, the Great Danes are only averaging 52.4 points per game and are shooting 38.1% from the field. At 11.5 points per game, sophomore Helene Haegerstrand is the only UAlbany player averaging double-digit scoring, but she has only scored 16 total points on 7 of 25 shooting in the Great Danes’ last three games as opposing defenses have focused more attention on her.
“She’ll get back there,” Mullen said. “She is one of our best players.”
For New Hampshire, senior Amanda Torres leads in scoring at 11.6 points per game.
The teams meet at 3 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.