ALBANY — Last weekend’s wins for the UAlbany women’s basketball team, sophomore Grace Heeps said, are “going to help fuel our success moving forward.”
But the Great Danes, Heeps said, can’t think they’ve got everything figured out just yet.
“I think that we need to build off this past weekend’s success,” Heeps said earlier this week. “Like, yeah, it’s great that we won two games — but, now what? We have to move on. Those games are over. Now we have to focus on the next opponent.”
After sweeping New Hampshire last weekend at SEFCU Arena, UAlbany travels to play UMass Lowell this weekend for a pair of America East Conference games. While UAlbany (3-3, 4-6) is coming off back-to-back wins, UMass Lowell (7-3, 8-5) lost its last game to snap a five-game winning streak.
UAlbany’s sweep last weekend followed a weekend that saw the Great Danes get swept in their first game action in more than three weeks. Since ending its most-recent pandemic-related pause, head coach Colleen Mullen said she’s seen her team take steps toward becoming a winning club.
“As long as we stay healthy and we can continue to practice, I think we’re going to continue to improve,” Mullen said.
The motivation to win, Mullen said, isn’t difficult to find.
“This is all these players want to do, is compete,” Mullen said. “They’ve sacrificed so much. They’re so committed. They’re doing everything right, and they just deserve the opportunity to have another practice, to have another game.”
Mullen referred to it as a “complete luxury” that her program was able to prepare all week to play UMass Lowell after there was a day last week when the program thought it would play Hartford — and not New Hampshire — this past weekend.
With Vermont recently announcing it had ended its women’s basketball season, third-place UMass Lowell is directly above UAlbany in the conference standings among teams still playing.
UMass Lowell’s leading scorer on the season is junior Kharis Idom at 10.6 points per game, while UAlbany’s leading scorer is sophomore Helene Haegerstrand at 11 points per game.
In general, it should be a low-scoring weekend of games between UAlbany and UMass Lowell. UAlbany averages 54.1 points per game, and UMass Lowell averages 59.2.
Saturday’s game at Costello Athletic Center in Lowell, Massachusetts, starts at 2 p.m., and Sunday’s game is scheduled for 1 p.m.