In both games at Stony Brook, it showed that the UAlbany women’s basketball team had just restarted in-person team activities following its most-recent pause because of a positive COVID-19 test result among its program’s Tier 1 personnel.
On Monday, Stony Brook won 58-46 after a 17-6 final period. Then, Tuesday, UAlbany fell 62-42 in its regular-season finale, an America East Conference game that saw Stony Brook outscore the Great Danes 23-11 in the fourth quarter.
“We really just ran out of gas,” UAlbany head coach Colleen Mullen said in a post-game teleconference.
Mullen said UAlbany (5-7 America East, 6-10 overall) had three practices prior to starting up its series with Stony Brook (11-3, 13-5) on Long Island. While taking a game in the series against one of the league’s top teams was never going to be an easy task for the Great Danes, Mullen said her team gained a lot from being able to compete prior to the America East playoffs that start Sunday for her group.
“We would not have wanted to come off of a pause and not have been able to compete before the quarterfinal game,” Mullen said.
Regardless of how UAlbany’s final league series finished, the Great Danes were locked in as the No. 4 seed in the America East playoffs and will host No. 5 New Hampshire next Sunday at SEFCU Arena. Stony Brook, the No. 2 seed, earned a bye into the semifinals
“It’s been an unorthodox year, in general, so it kind of feels a little strange that in February we’re playing a quarterfinal game,” Mullen said. “The whole thing kind of seems a little strange.”
Against Stony Brook Tuesday, UAlbany received a dozen points from Kyara Frames and 10 from Helene Haegerstrand. The Great Danes committed 20 turnovers in the game to Stony Brook’s 12.
Asiah Dingle had 13 points to lead Stony Brook, while Anastasia Warren and Leighah-Amori Wool each had 10.
Mullen said the focus for her team this week is to have “three great practices” after taking Wednesday off other than players getting some shots up that day. The Great Danes, Mullen said, will embrace the “clean slate” the playoffs afford them.
“But I think, right now, this whole year has just been about being flexible and being versatile, and kind of just dealing with things as they come,” Mullen said.
After Tuesday’s game, UAlbany freshman Kayla Cooper was named the America East Rookie of the Week for the second time this season.
Cooper scored eight points off the bench in each game at Stony Brook.