VESTAL — The defense was just fine.
The offense? It was just enough — just in time — for the University at Albany women’s basketball team.
UAlbany scored 11 straight points before a Binghamton 3-pointer at the closing buzzer capped a 43-38 America East Conference win for the Great Danes Saturday at the Events Center.
UAlbany never led until that fourth quarter, when it outscored Binghamton 17-10 on 7-for-12 shooting. Binghamton had led at each of the earlier quarter breaks — 8-6, 19-14 and 28-26.
“We never really got in our groove offensively, and we struggled with our pace. But … Ellen Hahne and Kayla Cooper made huge plays down the stretch for us,” UAlbany head coach Colleen Mullen said after her team crept above the .500 mark in the America East. “Sometimes the games aren’t the prettiest, but you can always keep making the effort plays, get big stops and come up with 50-50 balls, and I was really proud of the team’s effort today.”
Hahne scored 10 of her 15 points in the second half to go with five rebounds and three of UAlbany’s eight steals. Lucia Decortes blocked three shots as part of the Great Danes’ defensive performance.
“I’m really proud of our defensive effort, holding Binghamton to 38 points, and I’m impressed with how well we defended their sets and their best player, Denai Bowman (4 points on 2-for-12 shooting),” Mullen said.
Binghamton (4-9 AE, 4-11 overall) led 35-32 in the fourth when UAbany (5-4, 6-7) combined key plays on defense and offense in an 11-0 run that featured eight points from Hahne.
Cooper came off the bench to score a career-high 11 points, and Decortes took down a team-leading 13 rebounds, with six coming at the offensive end. Decortes’ four points included a layup that gave UAlbany its first lead at 30-28 with 9:14 remaining.
UAlbany outrebounded Binghamton 41-29, with a 14-7 edge on the offensive glass.
“We really controlled the boards today,” Mullen said. “We struggled with that at UMass-Lowell, and we really made it a point of emphasis this week to focus on it. Our offensive rebounding was certainly a key to the game.”
UAlbany outscored Binghamton in the paint 30-20 and off the bench 15-2 in the first game of a weekend doubleheader. The teams are slated to tip off again Sunday at 1 p.m.
By completing its 13th game of the season, UAlbany satisfied the eligibility requirement for postseason consideration.
Kaylee Wasco led Binghamton with 13 points.